Dick and Betsy DeVos are more than a powerful philanthropist couple. They are now both working in Washington. While the US Secretary of Education has been steadily working towards education reform in the US, her husband has been working with the FAA as part of the new Management Advisory Council. The new council has 13 members including former airline executives and transportation authorities who have been working on policies for many years. The FAA has recently been looking at ways to improve the airline and aviation industry as a whole.
The aviation industry has been dealt some difficult cards in the past with problems in employment and price stabilization, as the digital world has changed so much of the way that people book and check-in to flights. There have also been security issues, and an increasing issue with smart technology interfering with the way that planes operate despite the advancements made in other parts of the world.
DeVos is just one member of the council who has experience both on the business side of aviation and the actual education in the aviation world. While many people have claimed that DeVos doesn’t know much about aviation, he has actually been a pilot for quite some time and has even founded an aviation charter school on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The school is one way that DeVos shares his passion for aviation.
DeVos has been a pilot for some time, but his focus on aviation as a business started in 1999 with the re-launch of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The airport was having difficulties expanding and needed the help of an experienced business leader to make some more connections with airlines at the airport. The CEO called upon Dick DeVos to help put this into motion. He started by talking to the CEO of Air Tran Airways and convinced the executive to open new terminals at the airport. This led to new flights in Denver, St. Louis, Vegas, and Orlando.
The CEO of Southwest recently commended the FAA on its inclusion of DeVos in the council. The CEO had previously also worked with DeVos on the expansion of terminals at the Gerald R. Ford Airport as well. The changes that were made to the terminals led to a $45 million expansion that would provide a new food court, business traveler center, and new technology in the terminals of the airport.
DeVos has been meeting with the council for some time now. He meets with them every three months to discuss future plans and what can be done to help with the growth of the aviation industry. While transportation authorities have experience in policies, DeVos has led one of the most globally recognized businesses to success for over thirty years. His business acumen has been tested for many years, and now it will be his job to advise the FAA appropriately.
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