Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, recently cut the ribbon on a new runway in Virginia dedicated solely to unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones). The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s UAS Airfield is a 3,000-foot runway for UAS (of course, also capable of accommodating larger aerial vehicles, too), and is the first of its kind. After the ribbon cutting ceremony, a UAS flight passed by overhead. It was a Centaur UAS (optionally piloted), which has been linked to a deal to build flying ‘cars’ for Uber’s planned flight-on-demand service.
The Director of the Virginia National Commercial Spaceflight Authority, Dale Nash, said that the runway is open for business and that the U.S. Navy has already signed up as its first customer, with flights happening this month. We will likely see more dedicated UAS runways popping up across the country as more and more UAS flights take place, and automated drones (i.e., un-piloted) become a way of the future.