Santa’s Last ADS-B Free Sleigh Ride

Each year Santa makes the most epic general aviation flight of the year! I’ve written about this previously (HERE and HERE). Santa takes off and lands in a variety of places and makes deliveries across the globe. This includes millions of deliveries across the United States. That means that Santa’s Sleigh has to comply with the FAA mandate to be equipped with “ADS-B out” by January 1st, 2020. So when it comes time for Santa’s flight on December 24th, 2020 the ADS-B out must be up and running when Santa gets to the US.


I wonder if this advancement in technology will improve the NORAD Santa tracking system? Maybe by Christmas Eve 2020 we’ll be able to track Santa house by house instead of city by city? Of course, that may not be the smartest idea either. We wouldn’t want the tracker to be too accurate so the kids know exactly when he’s coming… Either way it’s always fun to watch the Santa tracker from NORAD no matter how old you are. You can find this year’s tracker HERE.

Just like every other aircraft owner, Santa must have functioning ADS-B out by January 1st, 2020 to fly in most controlled airspace (B, C and Echo above 10,000′ other than within 2,500′ of the ground). It’s possible his sleigh is already equipped, but my research tells me that ADS-B isn’t required at the North Pole, so he has some time before his next flight in United States airspace following this year’s delivery flight.

For more information on ADS-B check out 14 CFR 91.225 & .227. You can also refer to the FAA’s ADS-B FAQs page HERE.

-Fly Safe, @MTElia1B9


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