Dick DeVos is one of the political figures in Washington now. He has been working alongside his wife to bring new education bills for some time. He even ran for governor in Michigan in 2006. However, now he is officially in Washington helping the FAA with upcoming policy and planning changes. The Federal Aviation Administration set up the civilian council because it needed help making some changes. While the aviation industry has changed and balanced itself greatly in the past year, there are still issues with safety, security, and technology.
The FAA appointed a number of individuals from transportation officials to former airline executives. They wanted to get a mix of business professionals and those who were familiar with aviation security and policies. There has been a great amount of competition in the industry recently. The FAA is working with other individuals to try and figure out what they can change within a new directive.
The council meets once every three months. It has helped DeVos see what he wants to achieve politically as well. He now has aligned his interests with his hobbies, having been a pilot for most of his life. He got multiple licenses in order to fly jets and helicopters as well.
In addition to being an avid pilot, he has started to work with airline officials and airport CEOs. In fact, he has worked alongside the CEO of Gerald R. Ford International Airport for the past 10 years. He was brought in the late 1990s to help with the re-launch of the airport that led to him working with Air Tran Airways and Southwest Airlines.
In addition, the airport just finished a $45 million renovation project that allowed for new business traveler areas as well as food court areas and upgraded technology in the terminals. While many have wondered if he was right for the job, the FAA’s appointment was praised by multiple executives in the aviation industry, including the CEO of Southwest.
DeVos and his wife Betsy DeVos, the US Secretary of Education, also founded the West Michigan Aviation Academy on the Gerald R. Ford Airport grounds. The academy is a charter school that trains students to become pilots. They learn about the aviation world and go off to become pilots working for popular airlines. The training programs have helped in an era where it has been difficult to get the same salary as a pilot used to receive.
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