NORAD getting ready to track Santa
As the holiday season approaches, Santa himself has once again asked North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to track his sleigh through the sky as he makes his annual gift-giving journey, so that millions of children throughout the world will be able to follow his progress.
The Canadian Air Defence Sector Operations Centre at 22 Wing North Bay will use satellite and radar systems to alert NORAD when Santa enters Canadian airspace.
Two CF-18 Hornet fighter jets from 3 Wing Bagotville will meet Santa as he enters Canadian airspace off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. As Santa flies across North America from east to west, two CF-18 Hornets from 4 Wing Cold Lake will escort him out of Canadian airspace and turn over escort duties to the Continental US NORAD Region so that he may continue his Yuletide trip.
Santa estimates he’ll begin his Christmas Eve journey at around 4 a.m. EST, December 24. Once he begins, curious kids will be able to get updates on his location by calling the “NORAD Tracks Santa” telephone hotline at 1-877-HI NORAD, or by visiting http://www.noradsanta.org/ for minute-by-minute updates. Starting December 1, the Web site will also feature interactive games and activities.
The NORAD Tracks Santa tradition began in 1955. Since that time, the folks at NORAD have been fielding calls from children around the world asking about Santa’s journey. Today, over 700 volunteers help answer phone calls and answer e-mails. Last year, the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site logged more than 940 million hits from 210 countries, while NORAD Santa Trackers received more than 12 500 e-mails and more than 85 000 phone calls.
For more information on NORAD Tracks Santa, please visit http://www.noradsanta.org/, or contact Canadian NORAD Region Headquarters, Winnipeg at 204-833-2500 ext. 6795.