The news from Washington is that the Devos family is moving up in the political spectrum. With Betsy Devos as the 11th US Education Secretary, her husband Dick Devos has also been making political moves. He has joined the Management Advisory Council for the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA started the council in 2017 after being challenged by President Trump. He made a statement about the current state of airports in America being much less advanced than in other countries.
This challenge prompted the FAA to start looking at policies and regulations. The council is mostly comprised of former transportation officials from different industries, but there are also former airline executives. Dick Devos was a unique pick because he is well known for his business acumen, but he is also known within the aviation industry. However, many do not realize that Devos has been in the aviation industry.
From a young age, Devos wanted to be a pilot. He currently holds licenses to fly his jet and helicopter. However, this isn’t the only thing that defines Devos’ involvement with aviation. He is also the co-founder of a pilot training school, known as The West Michigan Aviation Academy. This academy is located in his hometown on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
This airport is the reason that Devos is well known. The business tactics used to expand this airport started in 1999, when Devos joined the CEO in helping the airport grow its ticket sales. While the airport had been around since the early 1900s, there were a lot of issues with the airport that led to stagnant growth. One of the biggest problems was a lack of destinations. Devos proposed adding on new flights and talked to the CEO of AirTran Airways to see if the airline would open up new terminals out of Grand Rapids.
AirTran Airways was bought out by Southwest a few years later. Devos had to make a phone call again to talk to the CEO of Southwest. He convinced the CEO not to close down any terminals at the airport location, even while the company was shutting down terminals across the country. Later, in 2017, the CEO of Southwest would praise the nomination of Dick Devos to the council.
Devos has met with the council for the past year. The council of 13 members only meets once per quarter, and during that time, they are responsible for advising the FAA on policies, regulations, budgets, and future plans for growth. Devos has some great ideas to help transform the airport industry just as he had with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.