Most people don’t know this but the DeVos family has completely moved to Washington now. Whereas political aspirations were but a dream for Dick DeVos, the former President and CEO of Amway, he is now working with the Federal Aviation Administration. He joins their Management Advisory Council once every quarter to discuss new policies, regulations, budgets, and future growth. This comes after the FAA was challenged by the President to revamp the aviation industry, once the number one industry in America. However, the President felt that aviation had fallen in recent times, losing competition to foreign markets.
Dick DeVos is a perfect candidate for the new aviation council. While it’s a civilian-led council and doesn’t have much power, DeVos along with 12 other members are able to provide insights to the FAA as they move to change regulations and policies. Already, they have worked on a few plans, such as the $40 million new GSO tower to come in 2019.
DeVos has a lot of experience working with airports and bringing in new revenue as well. He has previously helped the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids achieve greater success over the past two decades. It all started in 1999 when the airport re-launched, expecting more traffic and yet it remained stagnant in growth. DeVos was asked to help, and he made a phone call to AirTran Airways CEO. He posed a simple idea. He wanted to know if the airline would open up a few more destinations to specific locations in US that were beneficial for business travel.
DeVos saw that the airport could make a lot of ticket sales just by catering to this market, and in two decades, he has been able to prove his theory right. In addition, the airport added a business traveler center as well new food court and technology upgrades throughout the airport last year. This was part of a $45 million expansion that the airlines paid for, not the airport.
It’s ideas like this that will help the FAA with their funding as they make some major changes to airports and policies in the next few years. DeVos is meeting with the council once every quarter. The council is currently comprised of former transportation authorities and aviation executives who want to help make America’s aviation industry better than it has been for the past few years.
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