THUNDER BAY – It is all systems go for Christmas Eve and the very long journey that Santa Claus and his sleigh pulled by his team of reindeer perform annually. Transport Canada reports, “Despite a flurry of last-minute activity to make sure all of his Seriously Fun Cargo (SFC) was safely and securely loaded onto his sleigh, Santa Claus and his reindeer are expected to leave the North Pole on time and with all toys on board. Transport Canada is pleased to announce that Santa has passed all his required pre-flight tests and is ready to make his deliveries again this year”.
As part of his preparations, Santa passed the regular medical tests required by all pilots who want to get and keep their licence. According to Mrs. Claus, Santa put on a few extra pounds while working with his elves on the huge amount of toys requested from boys and girls around the world.
It maybe good advice for the children who leave that annual snack for Santa to include some healthier choices, including fresh fruit.
“Santa is a wonderful pilot, and as you may know, he has to pass his medical and flight tests,” said Mrs. Claus. “All those late nights and calories in the workshop were starting to add up, and I was concerned that he wasn’t going to be cleared to fly. But all is well as long as he just says no to the cookies as he makes his rounds.”
Happily, Santa also passed the test to demonstrate his flying ability and knowledge. Like all pilots, he must pass this test using a flight simulator or with a check ride. So this morning, at the Transport Canada hangar at the Ottawa International Airport, Santa Claus successfully completed a series of takeoffs and landings with the help of his very fit reindeer.
Earlier this month, a Transport Canada inspector travelled to the North Pole to inspect Santa’s sleigh and its safety system. The inspector checked the harnesses, landing gear and, of course, Rudolph’s nose. Santa recently installed some newer technologies for added safety, like his updated instrument panel and GPS, so the inspector checked this equipment, too. Santa was also reminded how important it is for pilots to get some rest and to do detailed pre-flight checks that include looking for ice build-up, and informing all crew and passengers about safety measures.
Now that Santa has passed his medical and flight tests, he is once again ready to take to the skies safely. Millions of children can sleep easy knowing that Santa is fully prepared to make his most important trip of the year this holiday season!
Boys and girls can follow Santa as he makes his way across the planet, through the NORAD Tracks Santa website at www.noradsanta.org/, and through Google Maps and Google Earth.