Dick DeVos, former president of Amway and current CEO of The Windquest Group, was appointed to the new Federal Aviation Administration’s Management Advisory Council. For many years, the FAA has looked to create a council that will help them make important decisions on the future of aviation.
The council consists of 13 members. DeVos has always worked on the side with airlines and airports, which gives him some unique insight into the needs of the aviation industry. He has personally worked with the CEO of Gerald R. Ford International Airport for many years, expanding the airport’s traffic each year exponentially.
The airport is also home to the aviation charter school founded by Dick and his wife, the US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The pair have been champions for educational reform, and part of that campaign has revolved around charter schools as one of the options for private choice or educational choice.
As developed as DeVos’ background is, he will be meeting with 12 others who have experience in other aspects of aviation, such as policymaking and transportation regulations. There are also a few airline executives on board to help with the business side. The FAA will talk to the council about budgets, future growth, regulations, and upcoming policy changes. Overall, it’s a plan to stabilize the airline industry and prevent future issues as the digital revolution continues to cause issues for air travel.
Dick DeVos started working with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in the late 1990s. He helped the airport bring on new terminals in the 2000s through a personal connection with Air Tran Airways CEO. He also worked with the CEO of Southwest to keep terminals open as the company had begun to shutter many of its flights in other cities.
All in all, the efforts led to a $45 million expansion. The refreshed airport will have a new food court area, business center, and upgraded terminals. New technology will help travelers stay connected to WiFi and pass through security faster. DeVos chose the Gerald R. Ford International Airport after working with several businesses in the Grand Rapids area.
As his hometown, Grand Rapids has always been the place where DeVos has looked to for inspiration for bigger ideas. He helped expand the area through Grand Action in the 1990s as well. Grand Action was a committee of business owners in the area who wanted to bring more commerce to the downtown business district. Together with the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, over $134 million was donated to help charities, cultural organizations, health services, and family organizations in the area.
DeVos will meet with the council once every three months. DeVos’ appointment has been praised by the CEO of the Gerald R. Ford Airport and the CEO of Southwest as a smart decision due to his business acumen.
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