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NASA accused of favoritism at Moffett

Original post made on Jan 28, 2011

Four years after the surprise news that Google executives were allowed to base their private planes at Moffett Federal Airfield, there have been not been similar agreements made to use the airfield as officials had promised.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 28, 2011, 10:21 AM

Comments (20)

Posted by Copy editor, a resident of Jackson Park
on Jan 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm

"there have been not been similar agreements"

Say what?


Posted by Paul Asmus, a resident of another community
on Jan 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm

The comment in the story by an "unnamed NASA official" about our legitimacy is inaccurate and possibly defamatory. The IRS and State of California found Humanitarian Air Logistics to be a "legitimate" company when they approved our nonprofit tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) charity. In my discussions and communications with NASA Ames, having an expensive aircraft just sitting around or paid employees standing by waiting for NASA's blessing was never a prerequisite to being approved to use the airfield.

We were created to help people in need with emergency airlift services both locally and elsewhere. That is a worthy goal which we had hoped the Google founders and CEO would want to participate in when we first approached them and NASA about using Moffett. It seemed to be a logical partnership then and still is now.

Thank you,

Paul Asmus
President & Founder
Humanitarian Air Logistics


Posted by jupiterk, a resident of Gemello
on Jan 28, 2011 at 4:25 pm

One would think the NASA emps who made this deal would have some real basic ethics and common sense, because NASA is funded by American tax payers. It is not irrational to think that they are accountable to the people and act with some conscience. But they don't . They want to get into special treatment with rich people and get some other form of paybacks. I hope they investigate and find out what the paybacks were to these NASA and charge the people whoever involved and convict them. City officials, govt agency officials(aka employees) don't think laws and ethics apply to them.


Posted by SkyKing, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 28, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Moffett should be open for GA aircraft. This is the perfect location for GA. By opening up Moffett, the county can close the Palo Alto and Reid-Hillview airport. This will let the county use the land used by those two airports in a manner that actually generates revenue for the county. This is a win/win for everyone.

Let's not stop until Moffett is open for all.


Posted by SFCitizen, a resident of another community
on Jan 28, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Boeing 757 isn't a jumbo jet. Not even a wide-body.

Boeing 767 is a jumbo maybe.

Web Link


Posted by member, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 28, 2011 at 5:11 pm

The Voice should vet their interview subjects first. HAL and Asmus have no money or airplanes, but a track record of whining.

>Earmark applicant's complaint fuels critics
Passed over for funding, group cites inequities

By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | October 29, 2009

WASHINGTON – They had no track record, no airplanes, no political sponsor, and they missed a deadline for requesting money. So it was hardly surprising that the founders of a nonprofit disaster relief organization were rejected this year when they lobbied for a $20 million earmark in a Senate defense budget.

But the lesson in earmark politics was not over for Paul Asmus, a former aviation executive, and Michael Coker, a veteran pilot from Hawaii.

After being told it was too late to get money for their operation, they were stunned to learn that the Senate Appropriations Committee chairman, Daniel Inouye, subsequently approved a $20 million earmark to build the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate, which will rise on the shore of Boston Harbor next to the John F. Kennedy Library.

Contending they were treated unfairly, Asmus and Coker have written to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. They are accusing Inouye's staff of unevenly applying earmark procedures by dispersing federal dollars to an institute honoring the late Massachusetts senator without giving their outfit, Humanitarian Air Logistics, what they consider a fair hearing.<

Aviation is full of flakes.


Posted by realStory, a resident of another community
on Jan 28, 2011 at 8:05 pm

The MV Voice should ask what they pay for fuel...

Google gets to buy aviation fuel at the military price which is $3 LESS per gallon. That means that every time they gas up the 767 they save $60,000. How many trips to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc. does it take to pay off the $1.3M rent? They don't pay an airfield tax on components either. Nice deal. I will say though that the aircraft detailer that's there every day does an amazing job polishing the leading edge of the wings.


Posted by agoogler, a resident of another community
on Jan 28, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Give em hell Paul


Posted by Saejin, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 29, 2011 at 2:15 am

Sweet deal.... Now why in the world would the United States Government give a company like Google (a company with every conceivable bit of detailed information about most everyone and everything in the world) a Sweetheart deal? Why? and How? How did they swing such a deal?


You don't think big brother wants access to the raw Google data base to search for what they want to know, and to preen clear of what ever they do not want outsiders to know?

We lost open, fair, transparent government about the same time as we lost our privacy, secure borders, and National sovereignty .........
....... get over it.... It is not coming back...


Posted by Amanda, a resident of Castro City
on Jan 29, 2011 at 9:28 am

Um, DeBolt's only source of a "sweet deal" is a disgruntled guy who was denied access to use the airfield. That would be like asking a fired employee of the Mountain View Voice what he thinks of your paper. This guy has no planes, employees or assets. It seems reasonable that NASA would want tenants who can pay their rent. This guy wants to use the NASA brand to expand his organization. The article even says that there are other tenants using the field, but not until the end of the article and brushes it over. This is really bad journalism, as there is an obvious preset agenda.


Posted by Kristine, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 30, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Dude, so long as mountain view is making money and attracting business from it I don't see the problem.


Posted by Ned, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 31, 2011 at 6:58 am

Only a homeschooling spouse of a Googler would say such a thing.


Posted by Koa, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 31, 2011 at 9:51 am

You can't grant people access to a non-public government facility just because they are super rich. This is no more fair or legal than letting first class passengers use a shorter government funded and staffed security line at SFO.


Posted by Cuesta Parker, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 31, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Google provides thousands of jobs in MV. They put their HQ here. NASA's airfield goes under-used and yet the locals in MV complain about ways NASA comes up to generate cash from the use of that under-used airfield. You people had better be careful or Google might find a new spot elsewhere along 101 - and the Feds might take the airfield away from NASA and give it back to the DOD who would base lots of noisy aircraft there again. I remember those days when the noisy Orion sub chasers took off every 5 minutes ....


Posted by Jon of Wunderman, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jan 31, 2011 at 3:00 pm


This is so very very sad. Do they realize the security issues of that airfield. Do you really want just anyone having planes and access? Can you imagine what a "evil" plane out of there could do?

Google had government contracts, can get and sustain government security clearance.

While I would like others to get access, access should ONLY be for those working with NASA on projects where relationships already exist.

This is just common sense.


Posted by Mark, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 3, 2011 at 2:00 pm

NO SWEETHEART DEALS for Google ... however, I also believe that to be considered a viable organization, there SHOULD be employees and equipment for same and that "we are based at Moffett Field" should not be used as a marketing selling point to grow one's business, profit or non-profit ... the idea of turning Moffett into a general-aviation airport (as in commercial passenger jets and jets carrying consumer goods) is idiotic -- Moffett was built when little else was really anywhere close-by and the air traffic effected fewer people ... Mountain View is a very quiet area with the exception of the noise created by a small number of planes using Moffett ... the area around Moffett is no longer empty and the population density of the area should be enough to quash any talk of turning Moffett into yet another commercial airport (do we REALLY need more than the current 3 international airports in the SF bay area???) ... only a pilot could rationalize turning Moffett into an airport for his/her individual benefit at the expense of the quality of life of the great majority of the local population ... what's in it for Mountain View residents besides more noise??? ... "SkyKing" lives in the area and is undoubtedly a pilot himself -- his arguments seem very self-serving and maybe he wants his private plane to be based at Moffett (close to home as he lives in Mountain View), and if he's a commercial pilot, maybe he just doesn't want to have to commute home from the international airports in San Francisco, Oakland or San Jose I for one DON'T WANT the private OR commercial air traffic from Palo Alto and Reid-Hillview to end up at Moffett -- I think that would lead to Moffett becoming a HUGE privately-owned plane airport, leading to HUGE growth in the noise from the present levels ... NO to Moffett allowing ANY privately-owned airplanes, EVEN those of Google executives ... and Google has a "fighter jet"??? Boys-and-their-toys ...


Posted by the_punnisher, a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 3, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Moffett has always been noisy. the VECTOR EXHAUST planes ant VTOLS were tested there, along with the P3s that flew out. They never bothered me...

Moffett is PERFECT for ALL GA aircraft, not just the weathy who have cut a sweetheart deal.

The access to the bay makes the runways perfect and we could get rid of the overlapping " inverted wedding cake " zones that people have to deal with flying out of the SFBA. No more Reid-Hillview crashes on Eastridge Mall...no San Jose Airport FBOs. No more East Palo Alo deaths. No more San Carlos drops into the Bay.

Face it, the SFBA is OVERBUILT when it comes to General Aviation operations. Moffett Field is the perfect solution; that is why the RICH PEOPLE have the sweetheart deal....not us " common folk "

P.S. So the RICH FOLK don't want to restore Hangar One? Maybe they don't need to be at Moffett field either.

And THAT is the real issue. the MV/NASA chair warmers got snookered again...but they won't admit it....


Posted by Paul Asmus, a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm

In reply to a previous commenter who posted the article from the Boston Globe and ended it by stating that aviation is full of flakes. That individual must be relying on inaccurate information concerning this project. We do have Members of Congress who are working with us and they do consider this project to be worthy.

Having an aircraft in hand was not a requirement to obtaining pre- approval to use Moffett. For example, the Airship company at Moffett had been working with NASA on their entry well before they had their airship in hand -- that is good business sense. As the MV Voice article said (and apparently ignored by the commenter) we had an interested partner with two corporate jets to let us use at Moffett as needed but NASA was not interested because it involved sharing the H211 hangar with the Google folks. NASA Ames wrote me that this was not possible even though the H211/Google lease contemplated such a sharing. The NASA excuse that we did not have aircraft is a shameful ruse.

Although not directly related to this matter, the Boston Globe article about the earmark dispute involving the Kennedy Institute and posted in the previous comments requires a response. It angered the Hawaii constituents of Senator Inouye that he helped get three seperate earmarks in 2010 totaling $32 million for the newly created Institute which didn't even have a building while ignoring his own constituents need for jobs.

As a resident of this area and a citizen of this country, I fully expect our elected officials and federal agencies to follow and enforce the laws and regulations 'equally' regardless of social and economic status. That apparently did not happen at Moffett. Anyone who follows the news will see this is a serious problem in this nation and worldwide. Some may call it whining, I call it holding our officials accountable. The American dream is for all to participate in, not just those with money and political connections.


Posted by huh?, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 3, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Fuel? That question should be asked... would not be surprised if they paid a standard rate. NASA is not the benevolent landlord here, they need $ to keep that airfield open, and if they could extract more $ in selling fuel at a local (not military) rate, then they would!


Posted by H Stewart, a resident of another community
on Feb 5, 2011 at 9:15 am

The Humanitarian Air Logistics easily meets the Obama, DOD, NASA missions, due to Aeronautics Logistics for the WH STEM initative. I see that HAL reaches out to High Schools for partnership, and NASA ARC could have collaborated creating a greater opportunity for building a greater Bay Area environment 'safe havens' and uplifting the community towards Aerospace Sciences.


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