AirServices Australia Tracks Santa Emblem
AirServices Australia Tracks Santa

AirServices Australia Tracks Santa Emblem
Active 2005 - present
Country Australia
Type Public Service Program
Role Three (3) important roles: 1) Provide educational and fun filled holiday entertainment, 2) Tracking of Santa, and 3) Inspire children and the young at heart around the world to think about how aerospace technology play an increasingly important role in our daily lives.
Garrison/HQ (2005 - Present) Canberra, ACT, Australia;
Anniversaries December 24, Christmas Eve

During Mid-December thru Christmas Day from the year 2005 to the present, the Airservices Australia has hosted a Santa tracker with a set of activities and games similar to that offered by the NORAD Tracks Santa Countdown Village, at an Airservices Australia webpage. The Airservices Australia web site is built and run entirely in-house without use of outside partners. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Santa's flight path in the Australian skies. Link to full size video

For 2010, an advent-calendar style for the website was chosen (instead of the prior years blog-entries style) where new features (games, photos, other activities) were activated as each calendar day occurred. Santa's flight path in the Australian skies was released on Tuesday, 21 December 2010.

Airservices Australia air traffic controllers worked closely with Santa and his elves in the lead-up to Christmas to maximize the safe passage of his sleigh and reindeer travelling in and around the Australian skies.

Santa used the same Automatic Dependant Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) technology that he tested for the first time in 2009.

This technology allowed Airservices Australia controllers to know exactly where Santa was at any given time as his sleigh broadcasted his call-sign, position, altitude, velocity and other data.

Santa's sleigh was allocated the call sign 'Big Red One' by air traffic controllers. The accuracy of the information displayed on the controllers' screens allowed them to keep other aircraft well clear of Santa's flight-path and gave him priority as he carried out his special deliveries.

Santa benefited from the recent in 2010, world-first agreement between Airservices Australia and the Indonesian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to exchange ADS-B data for aircraft travelling between the two countries when he departed Australian skies heading for Australia’s Indonesian neighbours.

Wherever the Christmas Eve weather was unfavorable, Santa's reindeer were able to guide the sleigh through the skies using Airservices Australia satellite-based, air traffic surveillance and navigation technology.

AirServices Australia Tracks Santa Website - 2010

AirServices Australia Tracks Santa Website - December 2010


For 2011, AirServices Australia Tracks Santa is now on Facebook. Also, for 2011, a blog-entries style was once more used for the website.

As the countdown continued towards Christmas, AirServices Australia tested and calibrated the equipment on Santa’s sleigh to ensure he would not miss visiting any houses during his yearly visit.

The sleigh, equipped with the latest satellite-based technology ensured Santa could get to all the places he needed to visit by the most direct and efficient route without tiring out the reindeer, and that AirServices Australia air traffic controllers know where he was at all times.

While his sleigh was being tested by AirServices Australia technical officers, Santa visited the Melbourne Air Traffic Services Centre to meet AirServices Australia air traffic controllers, technicians and fire fighters who would be on duty on Christmas Eve.

He discussed his flight plan with the air traffic controllers in the en route control room and control tower, inspected the AirServices Australia technical operations centre and stopped by AirServices Australia Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting station to be briefed on the emergency procedures in the unlikely event of an accident.

2011 Airservices Australia Videos
Description Link Clip
A compilation of Santa's visit to Airservices Melbourne control tower, en route room and aviation rescue fire station on 15 December 2011. [1]
Santa's visit to Airservices Melbourne control tower and en route room on 15 December 2011. [2]
Santa's visit to the aviation rescue fire station near the Airservices Melbourne control tower, on 15 December 2011. [3]
Santa's 2011 Flight Plan filed with Airservices Australia on 21 December 2011 [4]

2011 Airservices Australia Games
Description Link Picture
Santa’s sleigh explorer

Have you ever wondered how Santa’s sleigh actually works? It is packed full of high-tech navigation equipment to make sure he doesn’t get lost when he’s up in the sky delivering presents. The elves sprinkle magic dust on the reindeers which gives them flying powers and only lasts 24 hours. Have a look around Santa’s sleigh to see some of the amazing features!
Santa sleigh explorer
Fire truck colouring

We provide aviation rescue and fire fighting services at 21 of Australia’s busiest airports. On Christmas Eve, our fire fighters are ready to help Santa and his reindeers get back on their feet in case of an accident. Have a shot at colouring-in one of our trucks and see what it looks like in different colours!
Fire truck colouring
Dress Frosty the snowman

Even with bad weather, Santa’s reindeer can guide the sleigh through the sky using Airservices satellite-based systems. Help Frosty put on his clothes to keep him warm.
Dress Frosty the snowman
Reindeer Game

Oh no! One of the elves has clumsily dropped a whole bunch of presents on the floor as he was delivering them to Santa’s sleigh. Help Prancer pick up all the presents before Santa finds out! How many can you collect?
Reindeer Game

2011 Airservices Australia - Colouring in Fun
Description Link to pdf Picture
Mk8 aviation fire truck (pdf) - Print it off and away you go! [9]
Mk8 aviation fire truck
Air traffic control tower and aeroplane (pdf) - Print it off and away you go! [10]
Air traffic control tower and aeroplane


External links

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