Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

UPDATE: Let's Use Silicon Valley's Jet Fleet To Rush Aid To Haiti

Posted by Tom Foremski - January 23, 2010

Bruce Eric Anderson shared this link from Statesman.com: Austin church mobilizes volunteers, planes and medical supplies en route to Haiti in four days.

In just four days this community mobilized to fly aid to Haiti. Wow.

"Hill Country Bible Church Northwest was one of several organizations to organize efforts that will send 13 tons of medical supplies to Haiti."

It's an inspirational story. But they ran into a problem, they ran out of planes and fuel.

"Our biggest issue is that we could take another plane with just equipment if we had the funds to send it," Hurt said. "The fuel for each round trip costs more than $20,000."

That got me thinking... why not use the Silicon Valley corporate jet fleet to help speed relief supplies to Haiti? Even if they all did just one trip, that would be a huge help.

All the big companies have their own corporate fleets, and many individuals own large jets.

Intel has its own internal airline that employees use daily to link its Portland, Oregon campus with Silicon Valley.

Google has lots of large jets. It has a Jumbo Jet - 767-20. Think how much aid you could cram into that?

The New York Times wrote about the Google fleet:

The company had just added a Boeing 757 to a fleet that already included a refurbished Boeing 767 and two Gulfstream V's. All four planes had landing rights at Moffett Field, the NASA operated airfield that is a stone's throw from the Google campus.

And a fighter jet, a Dornier Alpha Jet.

OK, they can leave the fighter jet in the hangar because it's too small, but the rest of the Goggle fleet would be able to carry a massive amount of aid.

Come on Google, 'Do no evil' is great but "Do some good" is so much better.

Who else has jets? Oracle does, or at least Larry Ellison, the founder. But he has fighter jets, which aren't much use.

Hewlett-Packard has a jet, and so does Cisco CEO John Chambers.

There are many individuals in Silicon Valley that own, or lease, or own side businesses that lease jets to their own companies. Why not use them for Haiti aid?

Silicon Valley could rustle up a massive fleet in four days.

Silicon Valley can show how rich it is, how cool it is to be Silicon Valley - the global engine of innovation. (And we've got tons of jets...the fruits of our cool labors... You should join...)

And it shows that the tech industry does make a difference.

That would be a great message. And it would be great for Haiti.

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Join this Facebook group if you agree. You don't have to live here to join. Maybe at least one company will notice and volunteer a jet.

If you have any pictures or info on Silicon Valley jets, please share them on the Facebook group. It would be great to know how large the Silicon Valley jet fleet really is.

I will post updates here and also on Twitter(@tomforemski)

UPDATE: Sergey Brin has been to Haiti - He volunteered to join a group bringing aid. You can read his account here.


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