WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's governor is helping to launch a $5 million runway dedicated to drone research and development on the Eastern Shore.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe is set to fly in on board an autonomous Centaur aircraft Thursday at Wallops Island.

The Daily Press reports that NASA Wallops Flight Facility says the governor won't take off and land on the new runway, but on one of NASA's larger airstrips on its main base a few miles away. A pilot will be aboard as backup.

Virginia Space, which manages the state-owned Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, is seeking customers for the airstrip. Officials say the 3,000-foot long runway built for unmanned aerial vehicles or systems on the north end of the island is the only one of its kind in the country.