Dick DeVos just joined the political arena last year, and already, he is working with the FAA for future growth in the aviation industry. A long time pilot and aviation enthusiast, DeVos has always worked within the aviation industry as a partner, connecting airline executives with airport CEOs and even sponsoring education facilities to spur new growth in pilot careers.
The Federal Aviation Administration started the Management Advisory Council last year in September 2017. The council contains 13 people from airline executives to transportation authorities who will advise the FAA on what to do next for budgets, future growth, regulations, and policies. While the aviation industry has recently stabilized, jobs are still in crisis mode for pilots as the rate of pay has decreased drastically. There are other things that the industry has to keep up with as well, such as the amount of digital technology.
DeVos has been working alongside the CEO of Gerald R. Ford International Airport for some time. It all started in the 1990s when DeVos began looking at his hometown of Grand Rapids as a place of economic growth. He wanted the city to have the best chance for economic growth. Through the DeVos Family Foundation and Grand Action, a committee created for the business leaders in town, DeVos began to build up areas around the city, including downtown business district where he could create the DeVos Performing Arts Center and DeVos Convention Center.
However, he wanted to look into things that would create global economy for Grand Rapids. While the Gerald R. Ford Airport has been around since the early 1900s, it re-launched in 1999. The CEO called on DeVos to help him with expansion and bring in new flights. DeVos had connections to the CEO of Air Tran Airways and began to talk to the CEO about expanding new terminals at the airport, including flights to Vegas, Orlando, St. Louis, and Denver.
The new flights allowed the airport to expand into new areas for passengers and attracted new business. Eventually this led to a $45 million expansion that included a new food court, business center, and new technology in terminals. The new technology allowed for smartphones to connect to WiFi and included charging stations.
The latest appointment comes after DeVos has been working to get into the political arena for some time in Michigan. However, he was not able to become governor in 2006. Instead, he has worked on other projects and run The Windquest Group. As the former President and CEO of Amway, Dick has done a lot to build up the areas around his hometown as well as those around Amway sites. He continues to be a business leader who cares about his customers and partnerships.
Now that DeVos is in Capitol Hill, he will still have plenty of time to work with children at the aviation academy he runs on the Gerald R. Ford Airport campus.
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