Santa Claus is coming to town!
The North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) is tracking Santa’s flight and whereabouts as he makes his annual journey around the world, delivering gifts to the world’s children.
For the past 67 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), have tracked Santa’s flight. The big guy in red has a busy Christmas Eve ahead of him.
The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD commander-in-chief’s operations “hotline.”
The director of operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, which started the tradition.
In 1958, the governments of Canada and the US created a bi-national air defence command for North America called NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa.
Since that time, NORAD men, women, family, and friends have selflessly volunteered their time to personally respond to phone calls and emails from children all around the world.
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To protect North America and track Santa, NORAD uses 47 radar installations strung across Canada’s North and Alaska, a network of satellites with infrared sensors, high-speed SantaCam viewable online, and jet fighters.
Canadian NORAD fighter pilots have the honour of welcoming Santa to North America. Every year, Canadian fighter pilots fly the CF-18 out of Newfoundland and welcome Santa to North America. Then, at numerous locations in Canada, other CF-18 fighter pilots escort Santa.
You can keep updated on Christmas Eve by calling 1-877-Hi-NORAD or on NORAD’s official website. Excited children of all ages can also ask their Amazon Alexa or push the OnStar button in their enabled vehicles to find out where Santa is.