Northstar Jet’s Firefighting Foundation

May 2, 2018

MISSOULA, Mont. – Located in Western Montana at the Missoula International Airport (KMSO), Phillips 66 branded Fixed Base Operator (FBO) Northstar Jet has a front-row seat to some of the West’s most devastating forest fires. A reflection of their effort to assist those on the front lines and the surrounding communities, Northstar Jet and parent company, Neptune Aviation, are proud of being fervently committed to aerial firefighting and the protection of our forests.  

Neptune Aviation and Northstar Jet’s strategic global headquarters location has allowed the FBO to support the United States Forest Services’ (USFS) Region 1 operations in Missoula. From maintenance contracts on smoke jumping aircraft and lead planes, to fuel support for the entire fleet, the FBO has played a critical role in supporting the USFS operations.   

Neptune Aviation CEO Ron Hooper dedicated 41 years to the USFS before joining Neptune Aviation and leading a diverse fleet of firefighting air tankers, including a growing fleet of BAE-146 modern air tankers.

The FBO is one of the only operators in the world capable of keeping an airworthy Lockheed Martin P2V Neptune. The P2V air tankers were retrofitted by Neptune Aviation many years ago, converting their torpedo bomb bays into large retardant tanks for aerial fire suppression. Neptune Aviation expanded the firefighting offering and executed its first international firefighting operations in 2017 in Chile. 

Drone Experience

As Northstar Jet has expanded, so have its customer offerings. In 2017, the FBO added hangar number seven, which features an indoor room for unmanned aerial vehicle training. In 2018, a partnership with the University of Montana was formed and Northstar Jet has begun to offer classes focusing on FAA Part 107 knowledge in order to obtain a commercial license to operate drones commercially. Drone classes are currently slated for up to 15 students and Northstar Jet General Manager, Kynan Spethman, says the program is being to take shape.

For a first look into the new hangar and atmosphere, join Northstar Jet at the 2018 Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Fly-In event where Drone Nerds will be providing an interactive drone experience complete with demo and simulation flights.

Growth Partner

“Phillips 66 has truly been strategic in helping us grow throughout the years,” says Spethman. “They have provided the best programs in the industry, including TrustedFuel and safety training, and they’ve been an exceptional and reliable fuel supplier. Phillips 66 has been with us all the way!”

Northstar Jet proudly participates in Phillips 66 WingPoints Rewards Program, NATA 1st Safety Training and Phillips 66 Partners-Into-Plane Contract Fuel Program. To learn more about Phillips 66 FBO support and incentive programs, click here.

For more information about the FBO visit their website at