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Kate Philipps, Safran’s head of Group Communications, tours U.S. sites


During her first trip to the United States since joining the company in May 2021 as Executive Vice President of Safran Group Communications, Kate Philipps had a first-hand overview of the company’s operations in Virginia, Texas, California, and the State of Washington.

Kate Philipps Safran Cabin Bolsa Group

Kate began her U.S. tour in Virginia with a meeting at Safran USA – which provides business development, government affairs, and communications support under the direction of Peter Lengyel, President & CEO of Safran USA.

With safeguarding aerospace heritage as a priority for Safran, Kate visited the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, which holds the world’s largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft. This museum has acquired more than 40 artifacts from the Safran Group’s past and present, including an Airbus A330/A340 jetliner landing gear, the Gnome Omega No. 1 rotary engine, multiple Hispano-Suiza engines and gun mounts, a CFM International CFM56-2 jet engine, and a Snecma Viking bipropellant rocket engine.

As part of its commitment to promoting aerospace careers, Safran lends its ongoing support to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics) program.

Texas: a major hub for Safran

The Texas portion of Kate’s tour started at Safran USA’s Shared Services operations in Irving, which provides human resources, accounting, legal, information technology, tax, and administrative services in support of Safran companies across North America under the leadership of Mark Melnick. Kate also met with Safran Electrical & Power executives from Denton, Texas, who provided an overview of the Interconnection Systems Americas Division’s activities.

She then visited two Grand Prairie locations: Safran Helicopter Engines USA; and Safran Electronics & Defense, Avionics USA, LLC.  Safran Helicopter Engines USA provides helicopter engine assembly, MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) services, as well as training for a wide U.S. customer base, which includes over 450 operators. Safran Electronics & Defense, Avionics USA, LLC in Grand Prairie is dedicated to MRO services, marketing, and sales of avionics equipment. The Texas tour concluded in Gainesville, where Safran Seats designs, manufactures, certifies, tests, and assembles innovative economy class seats for airlines of the world.

Kate Philipps Safran Helicopter Engines USA

Avionics, cabin and in-flight entertainment systems in California

Upon arrival in California, Kate stopped at Safran Electronics & Defense, Avionics USA, LLC’s Irvine location for a product showcase and an overview of the company’s activities.

Brea-based Safran Passenger Innovations, which develops in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems and connectivity systems for airlines, was also among the sites visited.

In Huntington Beach, Kate was at Safran Cabin’s headquarters for a briefing about the company’s activities, followed by a tour of the Design and Innovation Studio and Technology Experience Platform – which highlighted some of its latest green, clean, and connected cabin technologies. Also in Huntington Beach is Safran Cabin Galleys, where she had a behind-the-scenes look at the galley manufacturing process.

The California segment of the trip ended in Carson at Safran Cabin Water & Waste Systems, the world’s leading provider of integrated water and waste systems. The Carson location serves as the headquarters for the Water & Waste Systems division and covers a wide range of products, from vacuum and recirculating toilets to galley waste disposal equipment, military crew seats, and airstairs.

Kate Philipps Safran Cabin Bolsa

Key visits in Washington state

Kate then traveled to Washington state to see Safran Cabin in Marysville, which has multiple operations dedicated to the production of advanced composites and engineered materials.

While in Washington state, She met with Conrad Chun, Boeing’s Vice President Communications - Commercial Airplanes, and visited the Boeing 737 factory in Renton.