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.