The Federal Aviation Administration is going through some changes. The new policies and regulations for the American aviation industry will place more emphasis on technology being used for security and ticket sales in aviation. This has been a long time coming as many have criticized American aviation for falling behind competitors in global markets. Those criticisms were also heard by the FAA’s new council that was just formed last year. The new Management Advisory Council inducted many members in 2017, including the legendary businessman Dick DeVos of Amway fame.
Former President and CEO of Amway, Dick DeVos has been through a few busy years. He has been campaigning with his wife, the US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, while also running his own business The Windquest Group. Previously he worked as the President and CEO of Amway for many years. Many know him from his ownership of the Orlando Magic and Orland’s Amway Arena.
However, there is more to DeVos than meets the eye. For one, he has been a pilot for many years and has worked closely with the CEOs of several airlines, as well as the CEO of the Grand Rapids airport. As his home, Grand Rapids receives a lot of his attention. From community building events to city planning to expanding the airport, DeVos has been involved in one way or another in Grand Rapids.
In the early 1990s, DeVos was working with a group of business leaders to bring more commerce and industry to the downtown sector. However, many of the plans were trying to place new arenas and convention centers away from the downtown. DeVos didn’t want to work with those plans after seeing what had happened to Detroit after disastrous city planning led the abandonment of their downtown areas.
DeVos wanted to help build up the area in different ways. He formed Grand Action, which brought together all of the business leaders in the area, and then he worked with those leaders to build new organizations and buildings across the city, including a new performing arts center and convention center.
However, one of his main focuses was the Grand Rapids airport, which re-launched in 1999 under Gerald R. Ford International Airport. This airport has gone through considerable changes in the past five years as it has added on new destinations and terminals, leading to a $45 million renovation project to add on new technology, business traveler center, and food court areas.
Much of what DeVos is doing for the FAA will help airlines, as that has been his focus for many years. However, he also worked with his wife to found the aviation charter school on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford airport. The new school trains pilots and others, allowing them the opportunity to become a pilot after graduation. As the FAA tackles some issues with pilot training and employment, it will be interesting to see what DeVos has to say.
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