The Federal Aviation Administration took on the challenge of President Trump to improve America’s airports and aviation industry with gusto. Starting in 2017, the FAA formed the Management Advisory Council. The council consisted of 13 members from business, transportation authority, and airline executive backgrounds. The council is just an advisory role that provides information to the FAA, but many of the members are influential in aviation and beyond.
For one, Dick Devos is on the FAA’s new council. His business acumen is pretty legendary internationally, but many do not realize the kind of impact that he has had in aviation in his hometown airport. However, many do know of the Devos Family Foundation and their $134 million contributions to different charities, health organizations, education centers, and political groups.
Devos joins the FAA amid praise for his work with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids. He started working with the airport at the turn of the century, helping airlines expand to new flights and increase the profitability of the airport into the millions. It was this kind of mind that the FAA was looking for to help with new policies and regulations that would spur incredible growth in America’s own aviation markets.
One thing that Devos did to help the airport was call up AirTran Airways CEO. It’s not often that a person can use one phone call to make such a difference, but in this case, he was able to convince the CEO to open up four new flights to business traveler destinations, including St. Louis, Vegas, Denver, and Orlando. The idea was that Grand Rapids would eventually become a business conference destination as well. After all, Devos had just built the Devos Place Convention Center in downtown.
The nomination was praised by many airlines, including Southwest, who has worked with Dick Devos as part of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport expansion. It’s also a great honor for Devos who has been a pilot for sometime and also the co-founder of an aviation school in Grand Rapids.
Devos will continue to meet with the council and help with FAA’s plans for new policies through the next year and a half. He has always been fond of politics, but now he is actually able to work in Washington alongside his wife. He will continue to meet with the council once every quarter.
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