NewsTrack Santa's magical sleigh ride in real-time: An enduring tradition turns tech-savvy

Track Santa's magical sleigh ride in real-time: An enduring tradition turns tech-savvy

Tracking Santa Claus's sleigh
Tracking Santa Claus's sleigh
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7:19 AM EST, December 24, 2023

If you're too excited to wait for Santa Claus's arrival and want to keep an eye on his progress, a tool is available for tracking his reindeer sleigh.

To find Santa Claus on the map, go to and search for flights using the keywords SANTA1, HOHOHO, or R3DNO53.

According to the tracking page, Santa Claus's sleigh, a unique 9-engine Rangifer tarandus, is a noteworthy 1,753 years old. This makes it the oldest aircraft in the world. Despite its age, the sleigh is equipped with modern devices to meet aviation regulations.

"This year, we are once again utilizing the Santa Claus tracking function, which combines terrestrial and satellite ADS-B range. Fortunately, Santa was able to enhance his transponder's range by using the reindeer's antlers as an auxiliary antenna," it was noted.

Remember, Santa's sleigh is magical, which can occasionally make tracking him a challenge, especially if he prefers to stay hidden to preserve the magic of Christmas.

Tracking Santa's journey has been a tradition for years

The tradition of tracking Santa Claus has its roots almost 70 years ago. It all started with an unusual mix-up on Christmas 1955. As the story goes, the phone number for the Continental Air Defense Command Center (CONAD) in Colorado Springs accidentally replaced Santa Claus's hotline number in the Sears department store catalog. As a result, CONAD started getting calls from children eager to speak with Santa Claus.

Recognizing a public relations opportunity, the U.S. military started releasing annual updates about Santa Claus's location. When the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) took over in the early '80s, they established a hotline for people to access real-time location updates of Santa's reindeer sleigh.

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