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Big flight gets green light as FAA clears Santa One

Our dedicated FAA team works hard all year long to ensure we have the best and safest aviation system in the world. And I’m pleased to say our air traffic controllers will have the opportunity to work with the world’s safest pilot very soon. Santa Claus has been flying accident-free for centuries, and today our FAA safety inspectors have cleared Santa One--the world’s only known reindeer-powered aircraft--to deliver presents to children around the world this year.

This year, Santa’s flight will be the safest and most successful one yet thanks to the NextGen technology used by North Pole International Airport. Rudolph’s red nose features gumdrop-enhanced avionics to make it ten times brighter and easier to track, even in the heavy snowfalls experienced at the Pole.  And air traffic control will keep Santa safely separated from other aircraft by having him fly at a cruising altitude of 50,000 feet.  That’s higher than commercial aircraft fly. They’ll also be tracking him using Candy Cane Satellite Surveillance-Broadcast, an enhancement of the FAA’s satellite-based system called Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast.