It is that time of year when the men and women dedicated to protecting North American airspace turn to getting ready for Santa’s visit to all the good little boys and girls around the world.
For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight.
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, and a tradition was born.
This year NORAD’s Santa Tracking site has been improved to be even more fun for visitors getting ready for Christmas. There are locations to visit and games to play; you can even listen to some of Santa’s favourite tunes.
The folks at NORAD take their Santa Tracking duties as seriously as their main role of protecting North American airspace, They even ran a rehearsal to make sure all elements were ready for Santa.