Christmas

The most important flights for Santa and his team

While we’re all staying home, it’s good to know Santa and his team are going to be flying around the world.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is helping out.

The FAA says that on Christmas Eve Santa Claus and his reindeer-powered sleigh will have special operating authority to conduct interstate air-cargo-delivery services directly to rooftops throughout the United States.

The FAA is also giving Santa a special commercial space license. This clears Santa for a crewed mission to the International Space Station. He’ll travel there in his StarSleigh-1 space capsule powered by the Rudolph Rocket.

“We are pleased to help Santa safely navigate through the National Airspace System to bring his unique and universal brand of goodwill and joy to children and adults of all ages. Even to those orbiting the Earth,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.  “Let’s face it, 2020 was a difficult year and we all could use some special holiday cheer that only Santa can deliver.”  

Getting toys under trees is Santa’s traditional goal on Christmas Eve. But the FAA said that this year Santa will give priority to flights carrying COVID-19 vaccines and other critical cargo.

But don’t fret.

The FAA says that with the aid of a flight plan taking advantage of simplified air routes and NextGen satellite navigation, Santa will still deliver all his gifts by Christmas morning.  

Want to follow Santa on his journey? (Or impress a small child that you have that power?) NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command has a nifty NORAD Tracks Santa site that follows Santa around the world in real-time.

Safe travels to all from Stuck at The Airport

Holiday elf

If, like us, you’ll be traveling on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, be sure to watch out for elves, Santas of all stripes, and lots of other travelers hoping to get where they need to go for the holiday.

If you need a few extra gifts, keep in mind too that lots of airport shops open early and close late – even on Christmas Day – and many have some pretty cool gifts all wrapped and ready to go.

To help you out, Tampa International Airport and several others have even put together holiday gift guides.

And don’t forget NORAD

On Christmas Eve you can follow along as Santa makes his way through the skies and down the chimneys via NORAD’s Santa Tracker.