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$82 million: Google is willing to spend that much to have its own private airport

Sites include . Published on February 9th, 2013. Written by Loic Cobbina.

Google is not done taking over Silicon Valley. It is now reported that the search giant is proposing to spend $82 million for the building of a private airport that is going to be used only by its executives and other companies’ corporate people. The location of this new project is supposed to take place at the Mineta San Jose International Airport. Chances are that the offer will be accepted.

Just some few weeks ago, Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, was found wearing the anticipated “Google Glass”, comfortably sitting in a New York subway, among other bundled up commuters. An Image of it went round online showing how the humble billionaire could be just a normal person just like everybody and sit next to average Joes. Who would have thought that during that same time frame the biggest online company was trying to strike deal that will allow it to have its own private airport.

For the past few years, Google’s private jets have been handled by a company called Signature. That same company is now playing a key role in facilitating this 29 acre airport proposal. The San Jose based company proposes to develop the West side of the airport for a 50 year lease.

The information was released through a memo written by the San Jose Aviation director, William Sherry. There were 3 different plans offered for the project but the evaluation panel made of 5 members and other officials prefered the Signature Aviation’s plan that got rated 991 over 1000 points. The other proposals where deemed not good enough.

Based on the proposed 50 year lease, Signature will run a partnership with Blue City Holdings San Jose LLC, during which it will build the airport. Blue City Holdings is the company that represents Google’s owned private aircrafts.

Sherry also wrote on the memo that the Signature Aviation Company was financially stable and that reflected on the financial indicators. For the city of San Jose, the company will turn out to be a significant economic asset. He added that this proposal can potentially offer permanent jobs, create revenue for the city and at the same time provide high quality travelling service to corporate customers.

The discussions have not ended yet and San Jose officials intends to continue meeting later with Signature to know the details involved. Other authorities like the Community and Economic Development Committee (CEDC) and the Airport Commission will also get into the discussions and together, a plan will be prepared for the City Council. It should be ready by Spring.

Sherry indicated in the memo that if this project is successful, the city of San Jose should be able to generate revenues of $2.6 million in rent every year. The city could also increase it annual taxes to up to $300 000 and make another $400 000 out of fuel flow fees. Of course the direct consequence of this project will be job creation and according to Sherry, the plan could create 376 direct and indirect jobs but during the construction there should be 150 to 200 additional temporary ones.

It was last year that the city of San Jose announced that it wanted to lease 44 acres of the West side of the Mineta San Jose International Airport for aviation related development. Out of this project the firm could develop 18.5 acres for aircraft parking and car parking lot with enough space for 300. There would also be a 66,000-square-foot hangar, 33,000-square-foot will be allocated to office buildings and retail shops and then a 17,000-square-foot terminal will be built.

So one may ask why the search engine company might need its own private airport. You should know that Google was already operating 8 private jets anyway and that was in 2011. Busy executives like Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt and Larry Page were often relying on those jets to move around. Some even believe that currently Google has more than 8 private aircrafts. Some reports say that the company has been trying to set up its own landing strip for years now.

Google, as a company seems to have been doing very well for the past few years. Its 2012 Q4 revenue reach the impressive amount of $14.42 billion. It should not be a surprised if the company can afford a whole airport for itself. The executives probably deserve to offer themselves such a luxury but the question is, do they intend to use that airport for other future plans for which we don’t know about? It could also be used for the distribution of Google based devices. The future will tell.

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