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Feds appoint Dick DeVos to FAA civilian panel

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: Billionaire businessman Dick DeVos (C) attends the confirmation hearing for his wife, Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to be the next Secretary of Education, in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. DeVos is known for her advocacy of school choice and education voucher programs and is a long-time leader of the Republican Party in Michigan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Transportation has appointed West Michigan businessman Dick DeVos and six other people to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Management Advisory Council.

The 13-member panel advises the FAA on everything from policy to fiscal and regulatory matters.

“These new members bring extensive experience and over a century of combined expertise in the operation, business, and policy of aviation that will be invaluable to improving the FAA,” U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao says in the news release.


DeVos, who ran for Michigan governor in 2006, founded the West Michigan Aviation Academy in 2010, which is a charter school at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. He also founded the nonprofit Regional Air Alliance of West Michigan.

DeVos is president of a Grand Rapids-based private equity-investment firm, The Windquest Group.

The FAA lists the other new members of the MAC in a news release:

  • Philip Trenary, former CEO, Pinnacle Airlines
  • Brian Wynne, CEO, Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)
  • William Ris, former Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, American Airlines
  • Donna McLean, former U.S. Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs and Chief Financial Officer
  • Jeffrey Shane, former U.S. Department of Transportation Undersecretary for Policy
  • Huntley Lawrence, Director, Aviation Department, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

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