Thursday, September 13, 2007


Down Silicon Valley way, the moguls of the Internet and source code are seeing a color green they have not spied since the last Wyse terminal was recycled.

What has elicited this outbreak of envious green? What could make these titans of the new economy blink in astonishment? Tired of all my hyperbole yet? :)

Well I shall cut to the chase then. It seems the billionaires of Google have literally landed a sweetheart deal, literally. Where the rest of Silicon Valley has to head to San Jose or San Francisco to catch a plane, the sultans of Google have just a ten minute ride to board their jets - one Boeing 767 jumbo-jet and two Gulfstream V business jets. And where is this convenient airfield and how comes no one else in Silicon Valley has their jets parked there?

Why NASA's own Moffett Field which is normally off limits to civilian aviation, right next to Google's Mountain View home. Some estimate Google is saving almost $360,000 a year in ramp fees just for the two Gulfstream Vs. There is no estimate on how much a 767 costs in ramp fees - to quote one anonymous source, "It’s like if you lived in a condo and decided to own a semi."

Supposedly how Google swung this neat deal is, they will allow NASA to use the aircraft on scientific missions. Naturally local officials and opponents to the continued existence of Moffett Field are raising stink over this deal. Truthfully I have wonder if NASA's IG has signed off on this as legit since Google is not one of NASA's usual contractors like Lockheed-Martin which is also located on Moffett. This opens all of kinds of questions and need for full transparency or will NASA allow other private companies with no prior connections to NASA access to Moffett to keep some people placated while irritating others who do not like jet noise over their home?

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