Have you seen what Dick Devos is doing in Washington? Everyone knows Betsy Devos, the new US Education Secretary, but it’s her husband who is now in the news. Last year, he joined the ranks of the Management Advisory Council for the FAA. His appointment was praised by the CEO of Gerald R. Ford International Airport and the CEO of Southwest, both of whom have worked closely with the former Amway CEO.
Devos has always had a passion for aviation. It only makes sense that he would join an advisory board for the FAA. The agency is looking to make changes to a few different policies, and the new council comprises transportation authorities and former airline executives who can help the FAA put together new policies, budgets, and future ideas for growth.
The airline industry in America has been unstable for a few years. However, Devos has seen firsthand how airlines can change and become more successful by targeting a different market. Devos’ hometown is located in Grand Rapids, where the Gerald R. Ford International Airport has been growing the past decade. While the airport is almost 100 years old, you never would guess thanks to the new $45 million renovations that have updated the airport dramatically.
In 1999, Gerald R. Ford International Airport had another re-launch. However, the airport didn’t do so well. The CEO turned to his friend Dick Devos for help. Devos immediately talked to the airline executives at the airport and convinced Air Tran Airways to expand their flights and terminals at the airport. The plan worked. There were all new flights added to Vegas, Denver, St. Louis, and Orlando. The new flights brought in an increase of traffic, especially business travelers who were headed to conventions, conferences, and sales meetings across the continents.
This expansion helped drive Devos to do more in aviation. He also founded a school on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The school is known as the West Michigan Aviation Academy. Together with his wife, the duo have helped students train to become pilots at the charter school, which is one of the only types of aviation schools in the nation.
However, Devos is just in an advisory role, and it’s unclear whether he has true political aspirations or not. His wife has been campaigning across the US for education reform, something that he used to do with her.
To learn more, visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/.