Butler Aviation provided valuable Jefferson County jobs and in 2008, considered leaving the city of Madras in search of a heavy aircraft maintenance hangar to maintain its fleet of firefighting planes. In a county with a 9.4% unemployment rate, the loss of jobs and future business opportunities made keeping Butler Aviation in Madras a top priority. Using $478,650 in Oregon Lottery funds, the City of Madras built a 30,000 square foot hangar and all related infrastructure.
The new, city-owned hangar opened in 2011 and kept Butler Aviation in town. They not only retained jobs that would have left, they added more jobs. These positions feature higher average wages than other Jefferson county jobs. The updates at the city airport attracted another aviation company, Aero Air, to acquire Butler Aviation and expand their operations in Madras. Aero Air built another 64,000 square foot building and added even more jobs. The newly completed heavy aircraft maintenance hangar served as a key element that attracted Aero and their expansion to Madras.