The latest news from Washington is that Dick DeVos has been nominated to the FAA’s new Management Advisory Council. With 13 members, the civilian board has been appointed to help the FAA with new regulations, policies, budgets, and plans for future growth. The board consists of former transportation officials and previous airline executives. However, Dick DeVos is neither of these. He does have one of the highest reputations in business and has been involved in politics before, as well as supporting his wife, the current US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
Most people don’t realize that DeVos has run for governor, proposed legislator, and been the face of Grand Rapids for many years. He has worked alongside his wife in the area to support the community and economy, as well as help the local business leaders. That includes people like the CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The airport has received a recent $45 million upgrade to have new business traveler’s area, food court facilities, and upgraded tech in the terminals.
The airport has gone through a long period of changes since 1999 when the airport changed its name to the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. At the time, Dick DeVos was working with the CEO to bring in new airlines and terminals. DeVos worked hard to help the airport expand, talking to the CEO of the Air Tran airline in the early 2000s, he managed to secure new flights to popular destinations like Orlando, Vegas, Denver, and St. Louis. The new destinations brought in more traffic and ticket sales than ever before. The airport was finally bringing in some business as well.
Over the years, DeVos has helped the airport in other ways, as well as the airlines. It was one of the reasons why his appointment was so highly praised by the CEO of Southwest as well as the CEO of the Gerald R. Ford Airport. In addition to being a business mastermind, DeVos has also given away much to charity and even built his own school with the help of his wife and the DeVos Family Foundation.
The aviation school is located on the grounds of the Grand Rapids airport and features programs that help students become pilots. In this way, DeVos has a lot more experience with the aviation industry than meets the eye. He can talk to airline executives as well as policymakers about the impact that any changes will have upon the business as well, because of his acumen within the airline industry.
DeVos has been working alongside airlines for some time. Originally he just wanted to make his hometown shine brightly, but it quickly turned into something much more than. The employment issue with pilots has risen in the airline industry, and one of the ways that DeVos believes that issue can be resolved is through proper training and education, inspiring young people to be pilots again.
The message has been received all over, and he has shown up faithfully to the meetings each quarter. While the board only meets but once a quarter, it is an honor to visit Washington and talk policies, as well as outcomes.
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