FAA Grants Santa Claus Special Flight Permission


The FAA has officially granted special operating authority to Santa Claus, allowing him to “engage in interstate air-cargo-delivery services directly to rooftops” throughout the country on Christmas Eve. The agency also included a special commercial space license for a crewed mission to the International Space Station. The license covers both launch and reentry operations.

“We are pleased to help Santa safely navigate through the National Airspace System to bring his unique and universal brand of good will and joy to children and adults of all ages—even to those orbiting the Earth,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “Let’s face it, 2020 was a difficult year and we all could use some special holiday cheer that only Santa can deliver.” 

The FAA emphasized that Santa “wholeheartedly agrees” that priority will be given to flights carrying COVID-19 vaccines and other critical cargo. In addition, the agency asked the public to avoid creating safety risks with drones and laser light displays over the holidays. Once again this year, Santa’s Christmas Eve progress can be followed on the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) website: https://www.noradsanta.org.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Other AVwebflash Articles


  1. I cannot fathom the Feds actually issued Santa a waiver to the ADS-B Out equipment “always on” mandate. If he had filed an online waiver request the cold-hearted ADAPT system would surely bounce it, even if he were to check the box for aircraft without an engine-driven electrical system. Kudos to those rouge enroute and approach controllers who took it upon themselves to issue him clearance and help him steer clear of Amazon drones. Congratulations on another good year Santa! Your first run since the ADS-B mandate has gone into full force and effect.

  2. Bah! Humbug! After centuries of operation in night operations—in all kinds of weather—worldwide operations—low altitude operations—congested area operations—and over-gross operations—extended duty time operations—ALL WITH A PERFECT SAFETY RECORD—the FAA thinks he needs a WAIVER?

    I’d rather believe in Santa Clause than the FAA.

    Just advocating for airmen freedom (smile). All in good fun! 🤩