Head of Safety

Palo Alto, CA /
Kittyhawk – Business Operations /
Here at Kittyhawk in Palo Alto, we are developing ground breaking all-electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft.  Project Heaviside is Kittyhawk’s latest high-performance electric VTOL vehicle. It is designed to be fast, small, and exceedingly quiet, taking advantage of new possibilities to free people from traffic. 

The Head of Safety role will report directly to the CEO and will have responsibility for designing and strengthening safety processes, strengthening independent safety reporting and review processes, periodically auditing safety processes for continuous improvement, and fostering a world class safety culture within Kitty Hawk.  This position will work closely with Kitty Hawk’s engineering, testing, manufacturing, quality, product, and legal teams, and serve as the technical expert and policy advisor to the leadership team on safety issues.


    • 10+ years relevant experience, including in a safety-focused position dealing with highly complex technical systems
    • Experience in a regulated industry, in the application of QMS and Risk Management in product development, and the ability to participate directly in reviewing and contributing to risk analysis approach
    • Ability to design objective processes and procedures, since this person will take the lead in Kitty Hawk’s internal and external safety policies, practices and procedures
    • Experience balancing business needs with protecting organizational safety standards
    • Experience working cross-functionally with technical and non-technical teams
    • Experience building safety programs, including SMS
    • Experience monitoring safety processes and measuring performance trends


    • Strong knowledge of aviation standards and regulations; understanding and experience applying performance based standards 
    • Previous industry experience leading a safety function
    • Previous government experience auditing safety processes
    • Pilot’s license or strong familiarity with piloting requirements
    • A degree in a STEM field (Engineering preferred)
We welcome you to apply even if you don’t match every requirement posted for this role.  No one candidate will be a 100% perfect match to our description, so if you are passionate about working on the next evolution in aviation and have similar experience to what we are looking for, we encourage you to apply.  Diverse backgrounds and experiences promote innovation and our goal is to build a team that encompasses a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and skills.

Please note that as of August 15, 2021, all persons working on Kittyhawk company premises must provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination. Applicants may seek an exception through the reasonable accommodation process.

Our headquarters is in Palo Alto and we offer a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, unlimited PTO days, 10 company holidays, a 401(k) plan with 40% company matching (no vesting period), flight lesson subsidy, education assistance, and company-sponsored social events. For those working onsite, Kittyhawk also offers commuter assistance, and free drinks and snacks.

Kittyhawk provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Kittyhawk abides by applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Kittyhawk is an E-Verify employer.