Google big wigs have a sweet deal worked out with NASA that turns government-owned Moffett Field into an extension of the search giant’s executive parking lot.
By agreeing to perform “scientific” flights when they aren’t busy jetting off to Italy, Cyprus, China or Ireland, a private company linked to Google gets a sweet deal to use part of Moffett’s mammoth facility.
H211 is a private holding company named after a hangar at the NASA owned Moffett Field – a hangar that has sheltered planes owned by Google executives since 2007. H211 and Google do not have a direct connection on paper, though the company is controlled by Google’s founders.
Ken Ambrose is the Executive Director and Vice President of H211 and recently flew a scientific mission out of Moffett measuring ozone and greenhouse gases as television news cameras watched.
The government-owned Moffett Field is just blocks from Google headquarters. For just about $113,000 a month, Ambrose, Sergey Brin, Larry Page and others are just a quick Tesla ride away from a fleet including a modified German fighter, 757, 767 and Gulfstream jets.
NBC Bay Area examined flight data and found only about five percent of H211 flights could be considered scientific. That’s enough, though, to justify the private company’s access and use of the government facility paid for by taxpayers.
NASA’s Debra Fena told NBC Bay Area:
“We welcome anybody who wants to have a place on the NASA research park use the airfield who do two things. Have a NASA alignment to one of our missions, and is financially solvent.”
Theoretically, this means any financially stable private company can use taxpayer owned hangars if some flights are completed for scientific research. The amount of research required is not specified.