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T-Minus 58 hours and counting…

Courtesy of the Secretary of the Department of Transportation’s blog (who knew!?):

December 22, 2009

FAA Administrator Babbitt clears Santa for annual mission

I am pleased to report that, just moments ago, FAA chief Randy Babbitt cleared Santa Claus for his traditional round-the-world holiday mission.

Said Babbitt: “Santa and his crew have always shown extraordinary professionalism, I’m certain they’ll pull off this year’s flight without a hitch.”

The public is invited to follow Santa’s progress on Christmas Eve at www.noradsanta.org via NORAD’s famous SantaCams.

During the North Pole International Airport (NPIA) 90-minute check flight, Santa demonstrated precision execution of the pinpoint rooftop landing and takeoff maneuvers his extensive delivery manifest and single-night constraint require.

Babbitt also pronounced the sleigh’s onboard equipment to be in tip-top operating condition, including the following systems:

  • Deicing
  • Reindeer propulsion
  • Navigation
  • Grinch/Heat-Miser avoidance system

Critically, Babbitt also verified Santa’s crew manifest to ensure enough elves would be available to relieve Santa for proper pilot rest periods.

New this year, Santa and the North Pole elves have instituted several energy-saving measures.

Santa’s wondrous sense of orientation will be supplemented by Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) technology to make this year’s trip more fuel-efficient.

And Rudolph’s bright red nose and other onboard sleigh lighting systems have been converted to energy-saving LEDs.

Thank you, Randy, for attending to this critical responsibility.

And thank you, Santa, for your faithful service (please check that list twice; I’ve been pretty nice this year)!


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