Entrepreneur Dick Devos

One of the biggest names in business is joining up with the Federal Aviation Administration to help with their policies and regulations. This is following President Trump’s call for aviation to grow and be more competitive as foreign markets have been able to muscle into America’s aviation territory. Economists have been calling the markets unstable for years, which is why it’s so important that the FAA bring on people like Devos to help with new ideas for growth and economic strength.

 

Devos is known as the former President and CEO for Amway, but that’s not what defines him in the aviation world. His work with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport is legendary. He helped the airport go from a little place to a bigger metropolitan airport just with one phone call, or so the story goes. In early 2000s, the airport had just re-launched, and the CEO reached out to Devos for help to bring in new traffic. Devos’ idea was to ask the airlines currently at the airport to expand their destinations. He called up Air Tran Airways CEO to see if that’s something he would consider.

 

Eventually Air Tran opened four new destinations including Orlando, St. Louis, Denver, and Vegas. The new destinations sponsored new business travelers to use Grand Rapids International Airport, and the airport has been growing ever since. In addition, the airport will undergo a $45 million renovation that includes a new business traveler center and food court area.

 

The new airport renovations will be finished later in 2018, but the amount of negotiations involved was a major growth step. Each airline pitched in for the renovations, believing that their contributions would result in the same thing that happened a decade earlier. With new travelers also come new needs for digital and technology upgrades, which is why Gerald R. Ford Airport has been upgrading its security as well.

 

These issues have given Devos more insight into the micro and macro views of the airline industry. His input is invaluable for the FAA that must make policy updates and changes within the year. In addition, the employment of pilots has become a growing concern. Devos has co-founded his own aviation school and has some thoughts on how to bring more pilots into the aviation world during a time when budgets are tight.

 

To learn more, visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/.

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