For many years, Dick DeVos has been working with the business leaders in his hometown of Grand Rapids. His partnership has brought on significant growth for the area, leading to new buildings and lots of changes within the downtown business district. These changes included a new sports arena, performance center, and convention center. All of which were going to help with DeVos’ next phase.
DeVos had seen that his city was in trouble. He had noticed it before when he had watched Pontiac SilverDome bring down Detroit, as it was built far away from other businesses in the downtown. He didn’t want that to happen with Grand Rapids. He focused city planning with the committee known as Grand Action, and together, they built up several areas of downtown and made it into a rapidly growing city.
However, DeVos knew that more had to be done to solidify Grand Rapids’ growth. He wanted to work with the airport to go further with this initiative. He started by working with the CEO on a plan to bring in new ticket sales and bigger audiences. To do that, they needed to get more destinations added to the flight list at the airport. DeVos made one phone call to the CEO of AirTran Airways.
Four new flights were soon added, including St. Louis, Denver, Orlando, and Vegas. The new flights would bring in greater ticket sales, ultimately allowing the airport to grow bigger than it had ever been. In fact, the airport reached record-breaking 2 million passengers in 2014, and it broke another record in 2018 when it reached 3.26 million. That number wasn’t supposed to happen until 2020.
The airport has achieved this success much to marketing and renovations, making it one of the newer and more modern places to fly into or out of in the midwest. Those changes have come with the help of DeVos as well, who has always worked with the CEO of the airport as well as the CEOs of airline partners. That includes the CEO of Southwest.
DeVos is now working with the Federal Aviation Administration as part of their new initiative. The Management Advisory Council comprises 13 members from transportation authority and airline backgrounds. However, DeVos is the only one who seems to come from outside of the aviation industry. That would only be true if you didn’t know DeVos and his passion for aviation. Not only is he a pilot but he has also co-founded a pilot training school on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
DeVos will continue to meet with the FAA for another two years. He has already met with the council several times in 2018, contributing his thoughts to several areas, including the budgets for the new GSO Tower.
Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.