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Safran Landing Systems wins James A. Wuenker Growth Award

Manufacturing giant expands footprint in Northern Kentucky

Safran Landing Systems ensures planes land safely. As one of Boeing’s biggest suppliers, the company is an industry leader in aircraft landing and braking systems. 


On March 2, Safran earned a James A. Wuenker Growth Award from the Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Cincinnati. Based on feedback from a panel of local economic development practitioners, Safran was named as one of four winners. Other Growth Award winners include Medpace, Inc.; Nehemiah Manufacturing Company; and Quotient Technologies. These four projects were selected from more than 90 completed throughout the three-state, 15-county Greater Cincinnati region in 2016.

Established in Greater Cincinnati in 1999, Safran expanded its Northern Kentucky location four times – and still needed room to grow. The company originally came to the region because it needed a U.S. location in an Eastern time zone near an international airport. The available land in Walton, Ky. fit those “must-haves” perfectly. In 2016, the company was ready for a fifth expansion and decided to grow in its footprint in Kentucky instead of one of its 22 other locations.

 “Utility prices are very important to us,” said Philippe Garnier, CEO & GM, Safran Landing Systems Kentucky. “Greater Cincinnati’s prices are less expensive than almost anywhere else we operate.”

As with many other industries, finding the right talent can be challenging. Safran’s continued connection with organizations like NKY Fame, which offers vocational training programs, helped it find skilled workers in Greater Cincinnati. And that need for talent is only expected to grow – by 2020, the company is looking to reach 400 employees.

 “Growing companies need a strong source for skilled workers,” said Garnier. “The nearby colleges and universities have been a great source of talented workers for us.”

Northern Kentucky Tri-ED worked closely with Safran to support the company’s growth. The economic developers connected Safran to resources, supported the company through permitting processes, and advocated on its behalf before the State of Kentucky. The organization has been working closely with Safran since the manufacturer first moved to Northern Kentucky.

Safran and its fellow winners were recognized during REDI’s annual meeting at the Monastery Event Center on March 2, 2017.

PHOTO: Phillippe Garnier, CEO and General Manager at Safran Landing Systems, accepts the James A. Wuenker Growth Award on stage at REDI Cincinnati’s 2017 annual meeting in Cincinnati, Thursday, March 2, 2017. (Steve Ziegelmeyer/REDI Cincinnati)