News Stories

NORAD Tracks Santa

Santa is making his gift-giving trek around the world Saturday night and children and their parents can follow his progress to Burlington by visiting the NORAD Santa Tracker.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) monitors the air around the world, around the clock, checking for unusual happenings in the skies. So, of course, NORAD simply can’t ignore a flying sleigh powered by nine reindeer.

Santa is at the North Pole right now, where he lives with Mrs. Claus and the elves who make toys and take care of the reindeer year round! Each year on December 24th, Santa and his reindeer launch from the North Pole very early in the morning for their famous trip around the world. The minute they launch, NORAD starts to track him! Come back to this website on December 24th and you can track Santa along with NORAD!

NORAD tracks Santa, but only Santa knows his route, which means we cannot predict where and when he will arrive at your house. We do, however, know from history that it appears he arrives only when children are asleep! In most countries, it seems Santa arrives between 9:00 p.m. and midnight on December 24th. If children are still awake when Santa arrives, he moves on to other houses. He returns later…but only when the children are asleep!

Several high tech systems are used to track Santa, such as: radar, satellites, Santa Cams, and fighter jets.

NORAD Tracks Santa is an annual Christmas program, which has existed since 1955, produced under the auspices of NORAD. Every year on Christmas Eve, NORAD Tracks Santa Claus as he leaves the North Pole and delivers presents to children around the world.

These days NORAD relies on volunteers to make the program possible. Each volunteer handles about forty telephone calls per hour, and the team typically handles more than 12,000 e-mails and more than 70,000 telephone calls from more than two hundred countries and territories. Most of these contacts happen during the twenty-five hours from 2 a.m. on December 24 until 3 a.m. MST on December 25.

The NORAD Tracks Santa program has always made use of a variety of media. From the beginning these were the telephone hotline, newspapers, radio, phonograph records and television. Many television newscasts in North America feature NORAD Tracks Santa as part of their weather updates on Christmas Eve.

The program now has a highly publicized internet presence with the “NORAD Tracks Santa” website, Google Earth, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook. Type in “noradsanta” into each site’s search engine to start tracking. And just as they did in 1955, children can call to check on Santa’s whereabouts, by calling 877-HI-NORAD.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!