CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Santa Claus has been flying around the world for many years on Christmas Eve night bringing presents and toys to good girls and boys.
However since 1955, Jolly Old Saint Nick has gotten a little bit of help from the Air Forces of Canada and the United States, as well as armed services from across the globe to aid his flight on Christmas night. This is part of the NORAD program.
Colonel Mark Lachapelle of the Royal Canadian Air Force explains that its a worldwide team effort to make sure everyone has a good holiday.
“Around the world, again other Air Forces are likely guiding Santa to make sure that he’s safe. Particularly in North America with congested air space as you may see in other countries, we want to make sure that Santa has a clear path. Because, he has to land and take off on multiple roofs to deliver those gifts for children; so in order to do that, we have to clear the airspace around him to make sure that he’s safe. Now, Santa is super fast and we can’t keep up with him at his full speed so he needs to slow down for us. We try to make sure that we intercept him and say hi when he enters our airspace. Little wingrocks from the F-18’s say hello and he waves back and we carry on with our mission. Then, the U.S. fighter aircraft whether it the F-16, F-15, or F-22 will do it for the U.S.”Col. Mark Lachapelle, Royal Canadian Air Force
Once Santa Claus enters the United States, he will be in West Virginia between 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. through snow and cold so all Mountaineers can get their presents.
Our Santa Tracker coverage is brought to you locally by our friends at Home Federal Credit Union.