By Randell Suba
Planetary Ventures, a company operating under the umbrella of Google, has been awarded by the General Services Administration (GSA) and NASA to renovate and manage the Moffett Federal Airfield in Mountain View, California.
The U.S. GSA announced, after a comprehensive review process, its decision, Monday, paving the way for the takeover of Planetary Ventures of the airfield that served as a base for the U.S. Navy. The airport was formerly operated and Managed by the Ames Research Center of NASA.
The terms of the agreement have to be finalized by the GSA, NASA, and Google. The call for proposals were initiated May 2013 by the government in an effort to attract private entities that want to collaborate with it in the rehabilitation of the field and rehabilitation of the historic Hangar One of NASA.
Planetary Ventures will not only be responsible in refreshing the 198 feet high and 1,133 feet long Hangar One but as well as the Shenandoah Plaza Historic District, rebrand Moffett Federal Airfield as another option for private and public air fleets, and take over from NASA the field’s operating cost and maintenance, among other arrangements.
“Hangar One was the landmark of Silicon Valley well before the rise of today’s high tech titans. Naming a lessee is a testament to GSA’s commitment to providing the best value for the agency’s federal partners and the American people. NASA’s partnership with the private sector will allow the agency to restore this treasure for more efficient use. GSA’s creative approach to putting underperforming federal facilities to new uses creates opportunities for development while eliminating NASA’s management costs of the airfield and saving taxpayer dollars,” said GSA administrator Dan Tanherlini.
The budget for the renovation of Hangar One, which has only retained its skeletal structure, is believed to be around $40 million.
“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. 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 endeavor,” said NASA administrator Charles Bolden.
It is not clear what Google plans to do with the airfield. There are reports that it will be building a new campus in another portion of the property. There are also speculations that it can also serve as a parking lot for the private jets of Google executives and cater to the needs of other executives in the Silicon Valley.
Source: Tech Times techtimes.com