Santa's Flight Path
NORAD Tracks Santa is an annual Christmas-themed entertainment program, which has existed since 1955 produced under the auspices of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
History and Overview
Content from Wikipedia
Every year on Christmas Eve, "NORAD Tracks Santa" purports to follow Santa Claus as he leaves the North Pole and delivers presents to children around the world.
The program is in the tradition of the September 1897 editorial "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" in the New York Sun.
Is There a Santa Claus? More info...
The program began on December 24, 1955 when a Sears department store placed an advertisement in a Colorado Springs newspaper which told children that they could telephone Santa Claus and included a number for them to call. However, the telephone number printed was incorrect and calls instead came through to Colorado Springs' Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Center. Colonel Shoup, who was on duty that night, told his staff to give all children that called in a "current location" for Santa Claus. A tradition began which continued when the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) replaced CONAD in 1958.
NORAD relies on volunteers to make the program possible. Each volunteer handles about forty telephone calls per hour, and the team typically handles more than 12,000 e-mails and more than 70,000 telephone calls from more than two hundred countries and territories. Most of these contacts happen during the twenty-five hours from 2 a.m. on December 24 until 3 a.m. MST on December 25. Google Analytics has been in use since December 2007 to analyze traffic at the NORAD Tracks Santa website. As a result of this analysis information, the program can project and scale volunteer staffing, telephone equipment, and computer equipment needs for Christmas Eve. Volunteers include NORAD military and civilian personnel.