GV owner wins round in airport access case

 - May 6, 2008, 4:53 AM

Oracle software chief Larry Ellison can fly his Gulfstream V into and out of San Jose (Calif.) International Airport (SJC) at any time, according to a ruling handed down this summer by a U.S. District Court. Ellison had been cited by the city of San Jose for violating a curfew at the airport, which bars operations of aircraft over 75,000 lb mtow between 11:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. Ellison argued that the noise level of his aircraft, and not the weight, should be the more relevant factor, pointing out that his aircraft is far quieter than some older business jets that are allowed to use the airport during the curfew.

The Ellison case began last year when the billionaire industrialist brought a lawsuit against the city to have the curfew thrown out. In deciding in Ellison’s favor, the court said that the curfew itself may be inconsistent with federal law. However, San Jose city attorney Rick Doyle is said to be reviewing the ruling, and is confident that the curfew could withstand a broader legal challenge.