Most people don’t realize that both of the Devos’ actually work in Washington now. While it was just Betsy Devos at first as the US Secretary of Education, her husband Dick Devos has joined her as part of an effort to help the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA has been working on a new plan to increase the strength of the aviation industry in America, particularly after Trump noted that aviation had suffered major losses in technology compared to other countries.
Devos is one of the newest members to the 13-member council that includes transportation authorities and former airline executives. Most people are wondering what Devos knows about aviation, but to explore that, you’d have to know that Devos is actually a pilot who has been helping the airport in his hometown for many years.
In fact, Devos started working with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport during its re-launch in 1999. At the time, the airport was quite old and had just underwent a name change. It was still suffering to compete with other airports in the area and was not able to bring in the kind of sales that it would need to sustain new growth.
Devos stepped into help the Gerald R. Ford International Airport by talking to his friends at Air Tran Airways. Specifically, he made a call to the CEO and discussed opening up new flights at the airport. He believed that the new flights would cause incredible excitement and allow the airport to expand into new territory, plus it would be beneficial to a variety of business travelers who wanted new destinations.
The Air Tran Airways CEO opened up flights to Las Vegas, Orlando, St. Louis, and Denver. The new terminals allowed for more people to travel through the airport in order to go to business destinations, leading to much higher revenue. In fact, over the next decade, the airport would continue to expand and grow, leading to a $45 million renovation.
The renovation would bring in new business traveler center, as well as a food court area. The updates were all paid for by airlines at the airport who wanted to benefit from the airport’s expansion as well.
Devos has been meeting with the FAA since last September. His role is just advisory and supplies the FAA with insights into what they can do to strengthen aviation, as well as future growth ideas for education and employment of pilots. Devos is the co-founder of an aviation charter school in Grand Rapids as well.
Visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/about to learn more.