Santa makes flying visit to Airservices ahead of Operation Present Drop this Christmas

Santa and an Airservices team member check his flight path ahead of Operation Present Drop.

Check out all the video action of Santa’s visit to Airservices here.

With Christmas fast approaching, Santa made a special, top-secret trip to Airservices Australia this week to confirm his flight path and ensure all is in order for Operation Present Drop on Christmas Eve.

As Australia’s official Santa flight management team, Airservices has allocated his call sign – ‘Sleigh Rider One’ – and carefully designed Santa’s flight path across the country, so his sleigh can get to where he needs to, safely and efficiently.

Airservices has also issued a special flight operations notice, known as a NOTAM, to all pilots, to ensure Santa has a clear path through Australian airspace to deliver presents across the nation on Christmas Eve.

Millions of children on Santa’s nice list will be attempting to sleep with one eye open on Christmas eve, as the Airservices team work tirelessly to ensure Santa enjoys a safe flight and makes his deliveries on time.

Santa will visit the Pacific Islands and New Zealand, where he then crosses into Australian airspace around Norfolk Island to zig zag his way up and down the country. He will exit Australian airspace by sunrise just over the Cocos Islands.

This is all the information Airservices can provide about Santa’s route as full details are classified Top Secret Santa (TSS).

Airservices Chief Service Delivery Officer Michelle Bennetts said Santa’s complex flight path sees him make frequent tight turns and conduct multiple low-level descents.  

“Our air traffic controllers will be guiding Santa safely through Australian airspace, using our surveillance technology to track him twice every second to ensure we keep Santa and his reindeer safe, on-time and on-track to deliver presents,” Ms Bennetts said.

“He’s cleared to fly at 500ft so he can skim the rooftops and deliver his presents quickly and quietly – after all, his magical sleigh isn’t your average aircraft.

“We also make best use of tail winds to help Santa fly faster, with less effort and our continuous descent operations help make present arrivals as quiet as possible.

“Our air traffic controllers, engineers, technicians and aviation rescue fire fighters all have to work hard on Christmas Eve to keep up with Santa.”

Visit Santa’s dedicated Airservices Facebook page to watch his progress on Christmas Eve – one of the busiest nights of the year in Australian airspace.

About Airservices
Airservices Australia is a government-owned organisation responsible for the safe and efficient management of 11% of the world’s airspace and the provision of aviation rescue fire fighting services at Australia’s busiest airports. We connect people with their world safely – linking family and friends, generating economic activity, creating jobs and facilitating trade and tourism.

Posted on: December 13, 2021

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