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Press Release – Federal Aviation Administration Clears Santa One for Christmas Eve Flight

For Immediate Release

December 24, 2018

Santa Equips Rudolph with Satellite-Based Avionics after Receiving $500 Rebate


WASHINGTON – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today cleared the Santa One sleigh for its around-the-world flight on Christmas Eve after signing off on the installation of Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) avionics in Rudolph’s nose.

“This state-of-the-art technology will enhance my safety and increase efficiency while delivering toys to children around the world, provided they are good for goodness sake,” said Santa Claus.

Santa took advantage of the FAA’s $500 rebate to equip his sleigh well in advance of the Jan. 1, 2020, deadline. The rebate is available to owners of fixed-wing, single-engine piston aircraft but the FAA made a one-time exception for a fixed-runner, reindeer-powered sleigh.

Santa was the 2,354th aircraft/sleigh owner to receive a rebate since the program was relaunched two months ago to encourage owners to equip. The ADS-B avionics, which will enable FAA air traffic controllers to track Santa’s location with pinpoint accuracy, will be required in all aircraft flying in certain, controlled airspace in just over one year.

FAA inspectors noted that Santa did his homework. He already knows which airspace will require ADS-B avionics. Before purchasing his avionics, he consulted the FAA’s list of certified equipment and had it installed in Rudoph’s nose by a certified installer. Within 60 days of the installation, Santa One was flown and validated, though at night, while children were asleep, to avoid confusion.

“Ho ho ho,” Santa said. “Merry Christmas!”

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This page was originally published at: https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=23414