The Devos family has been in the news quite a bit lately. For one, Dick Devos has been helping the FAA as part of his appointment to the Management Advisory Council. Dick Devos is married to the 11th US Education Secretary Betsy Devos. The pair have been working in education reform for many years, but now Devos is working with a civilian board to advise to the FAA on new policies, regulations, and budgets.
Part of the FAA’s new plan is to rework a lot of the policies around security and technology for airports. Devos has some experience working with airports through his contacts with Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids. The airport has been one of his main focuses in addition to his work at The Windquest Group.
Since 1999, Dick Devos has worked with the CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport by helping the airport expand and bring in new business for the airport. In the early 2000s, Devos spoke to the CEO of Air Tran Airways to see if he would open up new destinations and terminals at the Grand Rapids location. At first, the CEO was reluctant but after a few months, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport had expanded to include Las Vegas, Orlando, Denver, and St. Louis.
However, the airport would see new problems with the takeover of Air Tran Airways in 2010. Devos had to step in once more to talk to the CEO of Southwest during the buyout of Air Tran. He wanted to keep the terminals open that were recently updated at the airport. Southwest had been closing terminals across the company. However, after Southwest took over, they agreed to keep open all of the terminals that Air Tran had at the airport.
In the long term, the airport increased traffic immensely by bringing in new business travelers. The airport had a lot of funding help from the airlines connected. In 2016, the airport received a $45 million fund to help renovate the airport. The new building would include a business traveler center, food court updates, and technology in the terminals.
The FAA was praised for its decision to promote Dick Devos to the Management Advisory Council. His business acumen makes him one of the best to help with future growth for the aviation industry. It also helps that he is an aviation enthusiast, pilot, and mentor to young pilots. Through his school The West Michigan Aviation Academy, Devos has joined with this wife to help train pilots from the Grand Rapids area. The school is located right on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
Devos will meet with the council every three months to help with policies, regulations, and more. His next meeting will be in October.
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