There are no grinches at the FAA. “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that it has given Santa Claus and his reindeer sleigh special operations authority permission to conduct interstate air freight delivery services directly to rooftops in the United States on Christmas Eve,” said an FAA press release .
This year, Santa’s sleigh was overwhelming – and the FAA has been working to adjust their license accordingly. This season, “the FAA granted Santa Claus a special commercial space license for a crewed mission to the International Space Station with his StarSleigh-1 space capsule powered by the Rudolph Rocket for the first time,” the press release said. “The mission license includes both launch and re-entry operations and will be conducted from a US spaceport.”
“We are excited to help Santa Claus safely navigate the national airspace system to bring his unique and universal brand of goodwill and joy to children and adults of all ages – including those orbiting the earth -” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “Let’s face it, 2020 has been a difficult year and we all could use some special holiday cheer that only Santa Claus can deliver.”
The following is from the FAA press release:
As the world’s humanitarian aid worker, Santa knows that Christmas is different from other years, and he fully agrees with the FAA’s decision to give priority to flights carrying COVID-19 vaccines and other items essential to the country’s response the ongoing public health emergency is critical.
However, with the help of a flight plan that uses simplified flight routes and NextGen’s satellite navigation, Santa is confident that he will be delivering all of his gifts by Christmas morning as he has for centuries.
Additionally, Santa Claus has shared with the FAA that he will become FlyHealthy during his trip by wearing a face mask on his flight to set a good example for anyone traveling by air this holiday season.
To ensure Santa and all other pilots have a safe journey, the FAA is soliciting public support and avoiding a serious safety risk with drones and lasers. Sending a drone to take a photo or video of an airplane or sled will distract pilots and scare the reindeer, while laser lights pointing at the sky can temporarily blind pilots on vacation.
Don’t miss the opportunity to follow Santa’s progress with your children as he travels across the United States. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is following Santa’s journey on this website.