The long-running Silicon Valley stand-off between Oracle chief executive, Larry Ellison, and the authorities at San Jose Airport has ended with the billionaire the victor.
Ellison has been in a year-long dispute with the airport because he kept landing his Gulfstream V private jet at San Jose after the 11.30pm curfew on planes that size.
After receiving several written reprimands, Ellison took the initiative and sued the airport for the right to land.
He argued that his state-of-the-art, $38m jet is quieter than lighter (in weight) planes that are allowed to land during the curfew that lasts until 6.30am.
He claimed the curfew based on weight and not on noise was "unreasonably discriminatory".
District Judge Jeremy Fogel agreed with Ellison, but to the relief of the authorities, and the thousands of residents who live on the flight paths into the airport, he did not invalidate the curfew.
Consequently, commercial aircraft will still have to adhere to the curfew, and only jets like Ellison's will be able to touch down and take off in the early hours of the morning.
In his decision, Fogel wrote: "The unreasonably discriminatory nature of the city's noise program is best demonstrated by the fact that twenty Gulfstream V jets taking off at the same time would make less noise than one Beechjet 400, an aircraft exempt from the curfew. The stated objective of the curfew is to regulate night-time noise, not an airplane's weight."
Oracle did not provide a comment from Ellison on his victory.
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