Skip to main content

Norad Santa tracker: Where in the world is Saint Nick?

Vancouver -

Even a pandemic can’t stop Santa Claus from coming to town.

For the 66th year in a row, Norad is tracking Santa's whereabouts as he makes his way across the world.

“It’s a big responsibility, but we’re very proud to do that,” said Capt. Ken Jacobson, the public affairs officer for the Canadian NORAD Region, told CTV News Winnipeg on Thursday.

The joint U.S.-Canadian military operation says Santa entered Canada just before 9 p.m. EST. His first stop in Canada was Alert, Nunavut, Canada's northernmost community. After quick stopover in Greenland, Santa re-entered Canadian airspace at around 9:10 p.m. EST and was greeted by Royal Canadian Air Force pilots, who escorted him to St. John's, N.L.

“When they meet him, Santa always waves hi. He loves to see pilots. We tip our wings to say, ‘Hi Santa. How are you?’ We then continue to provide him safe passage through the North American airspace,” Jacobson said.

Canadians can see where Santa and his reindeer are in real-time on Norad's website or @NoradSanta on Twitter. Canadians can also dial 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) and talk to Norad volunteers who can answer such questions as "When will he come to my house?” and “What kind of cookies does he like?"

Norad's mission to track Santa every Christmas Eve began after the phone number for the Continental Air Defence Command, Norad's predecessor, was mistakenly printed on a department store newspaper ad in 1955.

Air Force Col. Harry Shoup, the on-duty commander one night, answered a call from a child who dialled the number that was misprinted, thinking she was calling Santa. After more children called that night, Shoup assigned a duty officer to answer calls from children, marking the start of the annual tradition.


Santa and Mrs. Claus are taxpaying Canadian citizens, residing in the Canadian part of the North Pole, the federal government confirmed in 2018.

Although the feds have urged Canadians to avoid non-essential international travel amid the rise of the Omicron variant, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said on Thursday that Santa received the green light to take off.

Tam confirmed that Santa, Mrs. Claus and all of the eligible elves are fully vaccinated and have even gotten their booster shots.

"His mask is well-fitted and the sleigh is naturally ventilated. So, I am happy to report that Santa has the all-clear to take off," she announced.

All of Santa's reindeer have also been healthy and symptom-free, Tam said. However, Rudolph had to get tested to make sure his red nose was not a COVID-19 concern.

"I can confirm the results are negative and he is free and clear to guide the sleigh on Christmas Eve," said Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo.

Transport Canada also cleared Santa's sleigh for travel after receiving an inspection of its landing gear, reindeer harnesses and communications and navigation systems. Santa also confirmed to Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra that he had completed his pre-flight checklist earlier that week.

"When I spoke to Santa, he assured me that he met all the pre-entry requirements to re-enter Canada and that he was committed to ensuring his safety, the safety of Canadians, and our transportation workers," Alghabra said in a news release.

With files from CTV News Winnipeg and The Associated Press. Top Stories

Stay Connected