ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Boeing is Missouri’s largest manufacturer, and now the aerospace giant plans on expanding its footprint in St. Louis County.

A plan to invest nearly $2 billion would create 500 jobs. Tax breaks related to the expansion would need to be approved.

The future aerospace program has been dubbed Project Voyager. Boeing has already been in talks with St. Louis Lambert International Airport about expansion.

A statement from St. Louis County Executive Sam Page reads:

“This project will reinforce our dominance as a region that builds the future of aviation, creates pathways to exciting careers, and showcases the pride and talent of St. Louis County.”

If the St. Louis County Council approves the deal, Boeing would receive tax breaks on the expansion that would amount to a 50% break on real and personal property tax for 10 years. There would be no tax breaks on existing taxes.

“The plan announced today by Boeing to invest nearly $2 billion and add 500 high-quality jobs in our community demonstrates their continued commitment to St. Louis and to the future of advanced manufacturing in our metro,” said Jason Hall, CEO of Greater St. Louis, Inc. “Announcements like this result from collaboration on behalf of the metro by committed stakeholders, demonstrating the power of speaking with one voice as a metro. We’ve been engaged on this project for more than a year and look forward to continuing our work with Boeing and our partners to keep growing St. Louis’ advanced manufacturing sector.”

Boeing released this statement:

Boeing and St. Louis Lambert International Airport are regularly engaged in discussions related to the potential expansion of Boeing’s existing operations at Lambert Airport. Those existing operations currently include production and flight test activities across a range of defense-related programs and potential future defense programs.

“Boeing is engaged in additional discussions with Lambert Airport about leasing additional property to expand Boeing’s manufacturing potential for future franchise programs. We appreciate the partnership with the airport, the officials of St. Louis City, and the other organizations collaborating on this effort.

The company adds that collaborating partners include Boeing, St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Louis Lambert International Airport, Missouri Department of Economic Development, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, St. Louis Development Corporation, Ameren, and Greater St. Louis Inc.

Michael Shea is a manager of Pantera’s Pizza in Hazelwood He said Boeing employees are already good customers and are excited over the prospect of welcoming new customers to his pizza business.

“The more business I get, the more income I put into my employees’ pockets,” Shea said.

Dara Dollarz owns Dress Code Wardrobe and is also excited about the prospect of new jobs coming to the area. She’s endured tough economic times since opening in 2014.

“If we get 500 more jobs out here, baby I’ll be standing stronger,” she said.