Kids will have no cause to worry this Christmas (unless they haven’t been good); nothing will keep Santa out of the skies this Christmas Eve. While the government may have shut down, NORAD has assured kids and parents that its fail-safe Santa Tracker is still on duty and the Jolly Old Elf and his reindeer will go about their business without obstruction.
Santa Tracker, based at the North American Aerospace Defense Command, has been on duty for 63 years, and won’t be affected by the government shutdown. NORAD is a joint defense organization of the United States and Canada that provides warnings and aerospace control over the entirety of North America.
“We’re on duty 24-7, 365 days a year,” said Capt. Cameron Hillier, the spokesperson for both NORAD and the U.S. North Command.
The group’s U.S. funding comes through the Dept. of Defense, and that budget was approved by Congress and signed into law by Trump. Hillier assures the public that only a minimal amount of federal funding is used for the Santa Tracker. Most of the funding and manpower is provided by corporate sponsors and around 1,400 volunteers, who join the NORAD staff at Peterson Air Force base in Colorado Springs. They man the around-the-clock call center on Dec. 24.
In addition to the call center, which is there for little girls and boys to check on Santa’s progress, the Santa Tracker also manages a mobile-friendly website (reach it at www.norad-santa.org), as well as a “Santa Cam” streaming video and social media channels.