Win Win Perk
September 13th, 2007

The Google Map and its cutline above are from this morning’s online New York Times —illustrating a story about the $1.3 million a year Google pays so its founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin can park their jets a few minutes away from their offices at an airport run by NASA

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.

“It was an opportunity for us to defray some of the fixed costs we have to maintain the airfield as well as to have flights of opportunity for our science missions,” said Steven Zornetzer, associate director for institutions and research at the Ames Center. “It seemed like a win-win situation.”

NASA said it had already run one mission on one Gulfstream V, to observe the Aurigid meteor shower on Aug. 31.

Moffett Field is nearly adjacent to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., and the four-mile drive between the two locations takes just seven minutes, according to Google Maps. Other Silicon Valley executives have to fight traffic to get to their large jets parked at the San Francisco or San Jose international airports or even farther away.

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