Virginia

NASA's Wallops Island unveils its newest drone runway

NASA's Wallops Island unveils its...

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. - In Accomack County, Virginia, there was a special ribbon cutting this afternoon for the newest airfield at NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility.

We are told this is crucial for the state.

It's a 3,000 foot long 75 foot wide runway is the newest addition to the north end of NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility.

It's known as the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airfield.

Virgnia's Governor Terry McAuliffe tells us the runway is dedicated to drones and unmanned aerial vehicles, known as UAV's.

Governor McAuliffe says, "No other state in the U.S., will have it. I always say I want Virginia to always be the first and the best, we have made tremendous progress in that regard.

Virginia Space Executive Director, Dale Nash says this will allow developers to test things that wouldn't usually be allowed by the FAA or FCC in other locations.

This is one of the four locations in the nation where they can come and operate.

"It's not just testing the drone. A lot of our potential customers are very interested in testing some pretty exotic pay loads, sensors, other things that they don't want others to know about," Nash tells us.

Customers will have the ability to work secretively, since the field is a very competitive one.

And their biggest advantage is working on this runway, as it's discrete and on a secure facility, the NASA facility.

Governor McAuliffe says these technological advances are the future.

And this puts the state of Virginia at the forefront of it.

"My point is this is what is happening. This is the evolution that is going on. My dream is to have a drone in every home. That is the future and that's how everything is going," Governor McAuliffe says.

The runway is open for business and their first major customer from the navy is coming in July.


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