Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Just Google It

September 13, 2007

For Google’s Founders, a Coveted Landing Strip



SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 12 — In the annals of perks enjoyed by America’s corporate executives, the founders of Google may have set a new standard: an uncrowded, federally managed runway for their private jet that is only a few minutes’ drive from their offices.
For $1.3 million a year, Larry Page and Sergey Brin get to park their customized wide-body Boeing 767-200 on Moffett Field, an airport run by NASA that is generally closed to private aircraft.
It is a perk that is likely to turn other Silicon Valley tycoons green with envy as no other private jets have landing rights there. But it may not sit well with a community that generally considers itself proud to have Google in its midst.
How did the two billionaires get such a coveted parking place for the jet, which is unusually large and rare by private jet standards? Officials at the Ames Research Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the agency signed a unique agreement last month that allows it to place scientific instruments and researchers on planes used by the Google founders. NASA gets to collect scientific data on some flights of those jets, which in addition to the Boeing 767-200 includes two Gulfstream Vs.
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Hey, why not?

* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Things That Work Great, check out Opinion-Columns.com