Planetary Ventures LLC, a Google subsidiary that handles real estate deals, has won a lease deal for Moffett Airfield and its gigantic airship Hangar One—a highly visible icon on Silicon Valley’s Highway 101.
Moffett Federal Airfield is already home to Google executives’ fleet of private jets. They have also faced criticism in the past for getting an unwarranted discount worth up to $5.3 million on jet fuel bought from the government.
Commenting on the deal, consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog said that giving Google control of the airport only rewards the bad behavior of Google executives.
Moffett Federal Airfield is currently managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. The lease will put Hangar One to new use and eliminate NASA’s management costs of the airfield, the US space agency said on Monday.
“At NASA we’re not only committed to exploring our solar system, but also making sure we’re spending tax dollars wisely. That’s why we’ve been so aggressive at making surplus or under-utilized property available to the private sector or other government partners. The agreement announced today will benefit the American taxpayer and the community around Moffett,” NASA administrator Charles Bolden said.
“It will allow NASA to focus its resources on core missions, while protecting the federal need to use Moffett Field as a continued, limited-use airfield. This decision today represents a tremendously effective partnership between NASA and our sister agency the GSA, and we’re grateful for their leadership in this endeavour,” he added.
The deal brings out Google’s increasingly close relationship with the space agency research center, located just three miles from the search giant’s headquarters.
“We are delighted to move ahead in the selection process and we look forward to working with both GSA and NASA to preserve the heritage of Moffett Federal Airfield,” Wired quoted Google as saying.