NORAD helps children track Santa’s travels

Published 2:55 am Saturday, December 22, 2018

For children who are wondering if Santa is traveling safely, there’s no need to worry.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) tracks Santa’s movements from the moment he takes off in his sleigh to the time he lands home.

NORAD’s Santa Tracker has been a tradition since 1955, first started by telephone and has now evolved into a vast website with games and videos.

The tracker started with a radar system called the North Warning System.

The radar system is extremely powerful and has 47 installations across Canada and Alaska.

NORAD tracks Santa with satellites, high-powered radars, jet fighters and even special Santa cameras to make sure the Jolly Ole Elf makes his trip around the world.

Starting at 2:01 a.m. EST on Dec. 24, website visitors can watch Santa make preparations for his flight.  NORAD’s “Santa Cams” will stream videos on the website as Santa makes his way over various locations. Then, at 6 a.m. EST, trackers worldwide can speak with a live phone operator to inquire as to Santa’s whereabouts by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by sending an email to

Any time on Dec. 24, Amazon Alexa users can ask for Santa’s location through the NORAD Tracks Santa skill for Amazon Alexa, and OnStar subscribers can press the OnStar button in their vehicles to locate Santa. Bing and Cortana users can also find Santa’s location on Dec. 24.

Why does NORAD track Santa?

“Twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year, NORAD tracks airplanes, missiles, space launches and anything else that flies around the North American continent,” the Web site said. “We’re the only organization that has the technology, the qualifications and the people to do it, we love it!”

When will Santa arrive?

“NORAD tracks Santa, but only Santa knows his route. We cannot predict where and when he will arrive at your house,” officials said. “We do know from history that it appears he arrives only when children are asleep.”

Santa begins his journey at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean.

He travels west, visiting the South Pacific first.

Santa will visit New Zealand and Australia to start off.

He will travel throughout Asia, Africa, Western Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico and then Central and South America.

Santa’s route can be affected by weather, so it’s unpredictable.

NORAD coordinates with Santa’s Elf Launch Staff to confirm his launch time, from that point on, Santa makes his own decisions.

“Santa will visit all the homes where children believe in him,” officials said.

How can Santa travel the world within 24 hours?

“NORAD intelligence reports indicate that Santa doesn’t experience time the way we do, ” officials said. “He travels within his own time-space continuum.”

To find out specific information on Santa, or to track his movement go to or call 1-877-446-6723.