The Missoula County Airport Authority this week approved a $2 million state loan for Neptune Aviation to fund the purchase of two aircraft hangars and the creation of dozens of new jobs.

Neptune, a national aerial firefighting company based at Missoula International Airport, purchased the hangars last September from Homestead Helicopters. The hangars provide nearly 30,000 square feet of aircraft storage space, along with offices and other furnishings.

“The loan is a $2 million loan to Neptune to purchase the hangars,” said Lynn Fagan, the airport’s administrative manager. “This is financing those hangars.”

The loan stems from the state’s Infrastructure Loan Program and was awarded by the Montana Board of Investments. Under the program, the airport serves as the loan administrator and Neptune receives tax benefits in exchange for creating new jobs.

Doug Hill, director of State Loan Funds at the Montana Department of Commerce, said Neptune’s $2 million application was based on the creation of 120 new jobs.

“They need to be considered full time when I do my review,” said Hill. “For each job that’s created, Neptune is able to borrow $16,666. That’s how we came up with the $2 million amount.”

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