Feeds

back to article Senator halts Google's taxpayer-subsidized executive jet fuel deal

A year-long investigation by US senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) into Google's use of NASA's Silicon Valley airport has shown that the company benefited from buying cheap aviation fuel from NASA at a discounted price arranged by the Pentagon. "Are some executives getting a special deal on fuel that isn't available to other …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Bronze badge

They could always...

...start an airline. Maybe charters only or some such.

There are fewer direct flights from SJC to Hawaii, and none to nice Caribbean destinations that I know.

I can see it now: Fly Google.

2
0
Silver badge
Coat

Re: They could always...

Would inflight drinks come from the Search Bar?

8
0
Silver badge

Look

Be realistic, there is a bit of give and take here....

The Government Gives, Google Takes...

2
0

Re: They could always...

Drunk from google glasses?

1
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

Fixed it

"Google is planning to build a $82m private terminal at Mineta San José International Airport, so that its execs can continue to fly without ordinary members of the public being forced to meet them"

Isn't that right?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Fixed it

Maybe it's more "so that NSA members can meet them without it being recorded on airport cameras?"

Let's not forget the business they're in...

3
2
Bronze badge

Re: Fixed it

Can we amend Godwin's law to say NSA as well as Nazi? Since Snowden (because before then the NSA did not exist obviously) not a single thread in anything IT related can happen without someone mentioning the NSA.

3
1
Bronze badge

Gallons?

Maybe I'm wrong, but isn't aviation fuel usually sold by weight and not volume?

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Gallons?

But the ordinary American buys fuel for his car in gallons and when the information is presented to them in liquid measure can compare the cost differential in his/her head to the cost and price variation they see at the pump.

As opposed to saying that google got the fuel for about 17 cents cheaper per pound, which sounds like little to worry about.

2
0

Re: Gallons?

It is calculated by weight for aircraft weight and balance purposes but sold in gallons or litres, depending on the location.

1
0
Silver badge
Pirate

Must be nice

Oh to be rich AND get tax breaks because of the hardship and burden of being so.

3
0

So Google gets cheaper fuel, and NASA get $1.3M per year in rent and free use of the aircraft? Sounds like a good deal for everybody. Total fuel savings for Google is $2.67M over 6 but they've paid $7.8M in rent plus maintenance/depreciation costs from the NASA flights. As I see it, everyone comes out ahead, and in government terms, $445K per year for free use of aircraft seems pretty cheap, considering flight hour costs. For all we know, NASA could still be making money on the fuel even at the reduced rate, too.

Here's how ridiculously wasteful some of our planes are:

http://nation.time.com/2013/04/02/costly-flight-hours/

14
0
Silver badge

Not such a good deal

Google get a free airport next door to the Googleplex instead of having to drive to the nearest commercial airport where they could land their full size passenger jets and wait in the same queues as everyone else and pay landing fees. they also get discount fuel.

So it's like me being allowed to use Buckingham Palace as a helipad, getting a fuel discount, not paying the congestion charge - and paying only the same for parking as I would anywhere else in London.

3
6
Anonymous Coward

Re: Not such a good deal

YAAC blathered:

> Google get a free airport next door...

And over in the article, we read:

> NASA does, of course, get the use of the aircraft for science, and **collects $1.3m** a year in rent from Page's people.

Yup. Definitely free.

8
1
Bronze badge

Re: Not such a good deal

In the US private flights do not go through security and is not required to file a flight plan. Even at commercial airports. Private jets in SJC do not share the same air strip as commercial air liners.

1
1
Silver badge

But it's not a good deal for the taxpayer since Google isn't paying market rates and saying they get to write off the NASA usage on their tax bill and that they have to pay 75% of normal fuel costs and a bit of a million in rent just makes my heart bleeds purple piss for them. Shit, park either Boeing at San Jose for a day and it will cost about $300 per day just for parking and that doesn't count the 20 cent per 1000 pound ramp fees.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Not such a good deal

It pays $1.3M for hangers, it would pay a lot more flying in-out of SFO or SeaTac and they wouldn't have the convenience of having a jumbo sized runway next door.

Private jets don't normally share the same airport as jumbos. Except in this case the "private jets" are jumbos - it's tricky to fly a 767 out of your local GA strip.

2
0
LDS
Silver badge

Re: Not such a good deal

I guess a 7x7 - and Gulfstreams flying IFR (and in Class A airspace - which means above 18k feet, it's always IFR) will have to file a light plan anyway anywhere - it's not a Cessna 172 flying VFR at lower altitudes. AFAIK you can avoid to file a light plan only flying VFR.

1
0

Re: Not such a good deal

I suppose it could pay $82 million for its own private area on the NASA strip. Naaaah!

Yep, that was not a decent deal but then hats off to Google, if you don't need to pay more then why should you?

I do hope Government negotiators salaries are as correspondingly low grade as the deals they manage to pull off on behalf of the taxpayer. One should imagine if they put their combined negotiating powers to the test they might just make minimum wage.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Surprise!

One reader out of ~10 actually bothers to do the math (and finds there's nothing to see here.)

And the usual lying politician trying to get attention and benefit from demagoguery with harmful results for all (including the taxpayer).

What else is new?

2
0
Silver badge

@doctor dodongo

It's a sweet deal for Google. A little too sweet for my taste. I think they should be paying full retail for the fuel. I'd let the have the write-off on the rent.

That being said, the other part of the question should be: will we get more out of the government making them pay that than it cost for Grassley to investigate it? Much as I think we need some sunlight on these kinds of deals, I'm not sure those numbers balance out.

1
0

Re: Surprise!

It is also worth noting that that Sen Grassley is a Republican, who are not known for being very good at science or even basic arithmetic. Hell, you could that for all Congress critters.

0
0
Rol
Bronze badge

But,

if Google has been spannered by the NSA, then surely it falls in line with serving a U.S. government contract, so no problem then.

3
1
Silver badge
Big Brother

"fair broker with businesses and responsible steward of tax dollars"

Meanwhile in Afghanistan:

Thanks to the magic of American national security politics, a number of young men who grew up in Nepal have found their way west, over northern India and across the breadth of Pakistan, to work at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan, destroying million-dollar trucks bought by American taxpayers. [JOBS!] They wield blowtorches and wear fireproof suits in the crushing heat, and — according to reporting by Ernesto Londoño at The Washington Post — it takes about 12 hours to demolish each of the vehicles. The trucks need to be cut into pieces small enough to be fed into industrial metal shredders, which grind the parts down into tiny bits of scrap that are sold locally for a few cents per pound. In May, about 11 million pounds [HOW MUCH??] of this scrap were apparently sold; by now it is probably more. The contractors who buy it call it “gold dust.”

The reason it takes so much time and effort to break down the trucks is because they were designed to be indestructible. They are Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, which everyone just calls MRAPs. In the early years of the Iraq war, one brave soldier confronted the visiting defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, to ask why troops were salvaging scrap metal out of junkyards to bolt onto soft-skinned Humvees as “hillbilly armor.” By about 2007 we finally started supplying MRAPs to the battlefield.

Their prodigious armoring and smart V-shaped hulls were designed to deflect blasts from roadside bombs and more. If you have ever ridden in one, it feels roughly as if you’ve put a steering wheel and some seat belts inside a bank vault and taken it out for a spin. Those are the million-dollar vehicles that third-country contractors at Kandahar are now shredding, by the thousands, into gold dust for the Afghan scrap market.

1
1
Rol
Bronze badge

Re: "fair broker with businesses and responsible steward of tax dollars"

Somehow I feel a little more assured of the future, knowing this is going on.

From a purely economic angle, it is cheaper to dispose of them there than transport them back to do much the same in the States.

From a world peace perspective, I get the impression this signals an end to American boots on contested soil, otherwise why get rid of a very competent vehicle if there are more hearts and minds to win over elsewhere.

I'll sleep a little more peacefully tonight.

0
1
Silver badge

This is terrible!!!

It should be going into Al Gore's jet.

2
0
Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

"flares, flaRES, FLARESSS......

Does anyone have the registrations of Google's aircraft as i've just

finished 3D printing a dozen 'Stinger Missiles' that i'm itching to use

1
3
Silver badge
Happy

Dear Senator Grassley:

...raises concerns about the government being a "fair broker with businesses and responsible steward of tax dollars."

Raises the concerns? How? They are already orbiting Alpha Centaury!

0
1

Real Story

You do know that Tortola is famous offshore tax haven, B.V.I?

1
1

The Bildeberger connections are the reason

Eric Schmidt is an attendee of the previously highly secretive but not anymore Bildeberger Annual meetups.

Where Politicians, CEO and chief Banksters plan the next wars, interest rates and economic booms/busts.

It's no wonder they get favours like these.. for a complete list see below

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10102170/Bilderberg-Group-2013-guest-list-and-agenda.html

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Google's Corporate Social Responsibility statement

Since its founding, Google has been firmly committed to active philanthropy and to addressing the global challenges of climate change, education and poverty alleviation.

Obviously flying Larry Page to his inlaw's wedding in Croatia on a jet that can carry dozens of people is part of the firm commitment to the challenges of climate change.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Google's Corporate Social Responsibility statement

He said they were addressing climate change - he didn't say they whether they were reducing or increasing it

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.