December 18, 2008
AOPA ePublishing staff
AOPA has learned that the FAA has no plans to issue a VIP temporary flight restriction for Santa, but he will be granted access to the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) to deliver presents on Christmas Eve.
Santa already has completed the FAA’s online training course and properly filed his ADIZ flight plan, ensuring he will be able to travel without threat of military interception.
Any pilot who plans to be aloft anywhere in the world on Christmas Eve should take special care to see and avoid Santa’s sleigh, easily identified by its unique red position light on the nose. Don’t be fooled by the sleigh’s 9-rp (reindeer power) engine rating; it is capable of traveling at speeds of Mach 3000, or 650 miles per second. Pilots flying at low altitudes should be particularly alert for Santa’s frequent takeoffs and landings.
To help you avoid an unfortunate encounter with the sleigh, possibly resulting in a delivery of coal to your home, track Santa’s progress online as part of your Christmas Eve flight planning. The Air Force North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will continuously update his progress.
Pilot Safety and Skills,
FAA Systems and Airspace,
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