Pick Up & Drop Off

The pickup and drop-off area for fliers on Google-affiliated jets and other tech industry high rollers.

Martin Avenue

Exterior view of the new Google jet facility.

Runway View

Runway view for the new facility.

LEED-Certified

The complex will comply with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design guidelines.

Inside The Terminal

A rendering of the new terminal for Google-affiliated travelers.

Check Out Google's New $82 Million Corporate Jet Facility

The new Google complex will reportedly be the one of the largest single-client corporate air facilities in the world.

Google executives love to fly, and they fly a lot. A recent NASA report by the space agency's inspector general found chartered jets shuttling GOOG higher-ups received discounted fuel from the federal government that they weren't entitled to; there's now talk of Google paying some of that money back. But Google may get to experience every Fortune 500 company's wildest travel dream next month: A $82 million jet center dedicated to executives' private planes.

In January, groundbreaking is expected to take place on a 29-acre facility featuring approximately 270,000 square feet of hangar space. The huge swath of space will effectively become a separate airport for Google executives and other tech muckety-mucks; private aviation support firm Signature Flight Support has a 50-year lease on the facility and will operate it with a partner named Blue City Holdings. In a statement, airport executives described San Jose-based Blue City as a "corporation representing the personal aircraft of the principals at Google" and explicitly said they would grant private airport section access to "other figures in the Silicon Valley business community as well."

So why is a significant chunk of San Jose's airport being given over to a private corporation? The answer, as always, is capital. Mineta San Jose will make approximately $3 million annually by leasing the space to Signature and Blue City/Google; this means a cool $150 million for the airport over the coming decades. Mineta officials say the space will be home to the personal aircrafts of Google's principals; the area on the airport's west side has reportedly been underutilized for years. Documents published in February 2013 reveal that the new facility will create 36 permanent jobs, generate 370 "direct and indirect jobs," and eventually generate more than $300,000 in taxes annually, over and above the $3 million annual lease cost.

However, Google won't be the first corporate client moving into the Mineta site. The west side area slated for Blue Sky contains Hewlett Packard's corporate hangers, among other facilities. The new Google complex will reportedly be the one of the largest single-client corporate air facilities in the world. Much of the site slated to be developed by Signature is currently leased by aircraft giant Atlantic Aviation; Atlantic filed legal challenges against the city of San Jose in May 2013. The company, which runs charter and small plane facilities around the country, alleges San Jose didn't fulfill California environmental requirements when approving the Blue Sky/Google facility.

So San Jose's getting money and Google is getting, in effect, its own private airport. Right now, Google principals like Larry Page and Eric Schmidt stash their aircraft at Moffett Field in Mountain View. Moffett, a landmark for travelers on California's Route 101, is operated by NASA and has been home to Google's informal aircraft fleet since 2007.

Earlier in this article, I mentioned a NASA report alleging that aircraft flying Google executives received steeply discounted fuel. The planes, operated by another Google-associated firm named H211, are alleged to have paid between $3.3 million and $5.3 million less than market rate for jet fuel. While NASA's report does not accuse H211 and Google of "intentional misconduct," it noted the prices "result(ed) in considerable savings for H211 and engendered a sense of unfairness and a perception of favoritism toward H211 and its owners." As of press time, it's unknown what the proposed Blue City-Google arrangement at Mineta San Jose will mean for the long-term future of H211's presence at Moffett Field.

[Images courtesy of Signature Flight Support]

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8 Comments

  • Henry Biggs

    SHouldn't Google be championing the use of their own technology in order to avoid expensive and polluting business trips?

  • Eric Harger

    Big deal. They are not getting their own private airport, Signature is setting up a general aviation area just like they do at airports all over the US. Google is throwing a few bucks in to have their name on the door, but it will still cater to biz jets just like Signature does everywhere. Signature is considered entry level for aviation employment and you get what you pay for.
    They painted some nice pictures and this reporter swallowed it hook, line and sinker. It's still San Jose Airport, a public airport, except now Google aircraft will have to wait longer getting worked into the flight pattern of much larger SFO next door and the traffic driving in and out of San Jose will be a lot worse than Moffett.
    Signature will not be selling Google fuel at NASA price levels.
    And what is the significance of having a cheesy departure lounge for Google, when it is in fact, a flight, and will be landing somewhere else, not a 'Google Jet Facility'?
    Lastly, no doubt the city will be on the tab for many infrastructure improvements Google will likely demand from roads to hangers.
    I can see where the taxpayers, owners of this public ariport, might not net the revenue advertized, but is the real story that Google wore out it's welcome with NASA and has turned the story around with a few artist's renderings? Peace.

  • emmalynnnil321

    My Uncle Hunter recently
    got Ford C-Max just by part-time work online... look at here B­i­g­2­9­.­ℂ­o­m

  • rationalicthus

    Sounds like everybody wins. The execs get more convenient access to their planes; the airport gets operating capital.

  • The Timmint Group

    Google having their own airport.... well we're just inches away from calling the world GOOGLE !

  • 4prongpitchfork

    Notwithstanding the stench, while masquerading as human beings Google principals like Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, are easy to identify. Just look for the slime trail.