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Santa Cleared for Takeoff by Sec. Chao and FAA

Posted by the DOT Office of Public Affairs

WASHINGTON – In late-breaking news, the U.S. Department of Transportation has approved an application submitted by a Mr. Kris Kringle (d/b/a “Santa Claus”) for special air transportation operating authority.

According to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, that authority is limited to a single night, December 24-25.  Kringle has outfitted his vehicle, an “airborne sleigh,” with an “8 RP-reindeerpower engine” and has on hand a ninth reindeer equipped with supplemental safety and navigation gear.  The Federal Aviation Administration has inspected the unusual vehicle and certified its airworthiness.

Once Santa is airborne, responsibility for tracking his progress falls under the authority of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

Now in its 62nd year, the Official NORAD Santa Tracker will monitor the red-suited pilot throughout the duration of his flight.  Consistent with NORAD’s emphasis on transparency, the Tracker, complete with countdown clock, is publicly accessible at

All of us at DOT wish Mr. Kringle a safe and successful flight.

Santa's Sleigh Blue Print Graphic

(Photo Courtesy of NORAD)