Have you heard the latest news on Capitol Hill? It’s not just Betsy Devos who has moved into Washington. The US Education Secretary’s husband is also now working the political circles. The Devos family has been a leading political arm in Michigan for many years, but this is the first time that the family has actually found themselves in positions of political power. Betsy Devos has been leading the way for educational choice throughout America, while her husband joins the Federal Aviation Administration.
Devos was appointed to the Management Advisory Council for the FAA back in September 2017. For the past year, he has been meeting with the council once every quarter to advise them on certain policies, budgets, regulations, and future plans for growth. Many wondered why Devos would be named to the board, seeing as he doesn’t own an airline or have experienced in transportation authority.
However, the FAA is working on plans to revive America’s aviation industry as a whole. The agency was challenged by President Trump in his presidential run after stating that the airports in America had fallen greatly in comparison to other parts of the world. This challenge led to the formation of the council and also the selection of a superior business acumen. Devos has been working with airlines and airports for many years. In addition, he is a pilot and has co-founded an aviation academy in his hometown of Grand Rapids.
To understand Devos’ influence, you have to go back to the 1990s. At the time, Devos was preparing to take on the role of President and CEO of Amway. He was working in Grand Rapids to help local business leaders when he stumbled upon plans for a sports arena and convention center that would be placed outside of the downtown area. Devos saw the risk in such a construction outside of the main business district and wanted to help business leaders come up with better ideas to improve the area.
Part of that involved the construction of new buildings and donations from the Devos Family Foundation. It also led to a partnership between Devos and the CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The two worked together very well to expand the airport throughout the early 2000s to this day. The airport is in line for a $45 million renovation fund that was supplied by the airlines.
As Devos has proven, it takes business knowledge and relationships to drive commerce. He worked with AirTran Airways to help the international airport gain higher ticket sales. He persuaded the airlines to open up new terminals and add new flights for business travelers. The new flights to Orlando, St. Louis, Denver, and Vegas really helped with the ticket sales boom.
It’s this kind of growth and promise that the FAA is looking for in its latest policies and regulations. Devos will continue to meet with the council throughout the next two years.
Visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/about to learn more.