For 63rd Year, NORAD Has Santa On The Radar

Dec 1, 2018

The Colorado Springs-based North American Aerospace Defense Command--or NORAD--has officially begun tracking Santa Claus for this holiday season.

Using the same technology in place to defend our continent, for 63 years NORAD and its predecessor have tracked Santa’s Christmas Eve journey around the world to deliver presents.

In a new online video from NORAD, elves are shown helping Jolly Old Saint Nick prepare for his travels, with a few practice runs through the night sky.

NORAD’s mission to track Santa started by accident in 1955 when a local ad gave a phone number for children to call him. But a misprint meant kids were instead calling the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center, the predecessor to NORAD, and they’ve been happy to field the calls ever since.

This year, tracking Santa has gone mobile with social media channels (@NoradSanta on Twitter and NORAD Tracks Santa on Facebook) and a website, www.noradsanta.org. It is available in eight languages and includes games and a holiday countdown, as well as a 24-hour streaming "Santa Cam" video on Christmas Eve. At any time on Dec. 24, Amazon Alexa users can ask for Santa's location through the NORAD Tracks Santa skill for Amazon Alexa, and OnStar members can push the blue OnStar button in their vehicles to locate Santa. 

On Dec. 24, Santa’s up-to-date location will be available by calling or texting at 1-877-HiNORAD.

More than 1,400 volunteers are expected to join NORAD on Peterson Air Force Base to help track Santa’s journey.