Montana National Guard training at Laurel Airport

A CH-47 Chinook Helicopter lands at the Laurel Municipal Airport. Both Laurel and Billings airports will receive grants awarded this week by the Montana Department of Transportation Aeronautics Board.

HANNAH POTES, Gazette Staff

About $575,000 in grants and loans will be awarded to airports throughout Montana during the 2018-19 fiscal year, according to a news release from the Montana Department of Transportation Aeronautics Board.

One grant, for about $20,000, will be given to the Laurel Municipal Airport for runway construction.

Airports in Montana's largest cities — in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell and Missoula — will each receive nearly $13,000 for their pavement preservation programs.

Funding for the program comes from a 2-cents-per-gallon tax on fuel sold to general aviation aircraft in Montana.

Most of the money awarded in grants and loans each year goes to leverage the 90 percent match provided by the Federal Aviation Administration.

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