Most people don’t realize this, but Dick Devos is now a member of a board in Washington and has joined his wife, the 11th US Education Secretary, Betsy Devos. Dick has always been one of the quintessential businessmen for Amway, but now he is more of a philanthropist and entrepreneur, taking special interest in companies that make the world a better place. He has also been quite influential in the development and expansion of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This airport holds a special significance for Devos, but it’s also what got him a spot on the Management Advisory Council for the Federal Aviation Administration.
Devos has always been a pilot with a passion for aviation business. The council is now a greater stepping stone into the world of aviation, as he works with former transportation authorities and airline executives. The 13-member council serves as an advisory to the FAA on new policies, regulations, budgets, and ideas for future growth. Devos was only appointed to the council in 2017, but his experience in the business world has proven invaluable to the new policies that have recently been published by the FAA.
All of these changes to aviation come after President Trump challenged the Federal Aviation Administration to be more innovative, stating that America had fallen in the aviation industry and needed to match what was being offered in other countries for technology and security. The FAA has been working with the Council ever since to inform new policies and legislation.
Devos has been working with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport since 1999. His extensive business acumen and knowledge of international business has helped in expanding the airport considerably over the past two decades. In fact, it was Devos who made a call to the CEO of AirTran Airways in the early 2000s that created such a boom for the airport.
That one phone call set off a chain of events that would lead to new business, more flights, and an eventual $45 million renovation project that was just completed in 2018. The airport had been around since the 1900s, but it was under business partnership with Devos that it finally blossomed into the business traveler’s ultimate airport. With the renovation, a new business traveler’s center as well as food court area and updated technology would finally come to fruition. After all, Devos has been working with the airport for a number of years both as a business partner and educator.
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Devos is also the co-founder of the West Michigan Aviation Academy, which is located right on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The academy trains students to become pilots, which has also helped with the employment rates at the airport as well.
Devos will be meeting with the council once every quarter and providing his opinion on changes and budgets, as well as future growth plans. Through his business partnerships with other airlines, Devos has considerable experience and knowledge to provide the FAA as it moves forward with plans to innovate the industry.