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NORAD gearing up to track Santa

Military officials at 22 Wing CFB North Bay will be tracking Santa again this year on his Christmas Eve journey across the country.

Since 1955, NORAD has been tracking Santa when he enters Canadian airspace on Dec. 24.

“We are going to expect Santa Claus to show up on our systems first using the satellites,” says Major Vanessa Larochelle-Meilleur, Mission Crew Commander. “There is infrared technology that’s going to pick up Rudolph’s red nose because he’s giving out a lot of heat signature.”

From there northern radars will pick up the sleigh and reindeer with surveillance operators contacting air traffic controllers to scramble CF-18 jets to visually confirm it’s Santa.

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Maj. Larochelle-Meilleur says she’s honoured to be taking part for the first time this year.

There are two ways families can follow Santa that night.

“There’s a website, and that allows everybody to go and check where Santa is at around the world,” says Maj. Larochelle-Meilleur. “There’s also a phone line that people can call.  It’s 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723).”

The website also features games, music, activities and more.


**Written by Richard Coffin

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