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Many eyes watch Santa's trip

Chris Woodall
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 21/05) - Never fear, Santa Claus will soon be here.

Many eyes are watching for the Big Red Guy's flight, Christmas Eve, and that's not just the young and young at heart waiting to see what goodies he'll bring.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Don't worry about Santa Claus making his rounds, Dec. 24, because he has lots of help. Yellowknife air traffic controller Calvin Gutowski is going to track his progress on radar and in the air. - Chris Woodall/NNSL photo

Yellowknife's air traffic controllers have been working closely with Canadian Forces Northern Area's 440 Squadron to make sure when Santa flies over the Northwest Territories it will be a safe journey.

While air traffic control will monitor Santa's sled on its radar scopes, 440 Sqn.'s Twin Otters will be revved and ready to respond just in case Santa has any problems.

If that isn't enough, NORAD - the joint Canadian/American military defence surveillance of this continent - is sending up Canadian air force CF-18 pilots from bases across Canada to escort Saint Nick on his first leg from the North Pole.

With 47 radar posts strung across Canada, a series of satellites and the Internet Santa Cam, NORAD will be able to monitor everything to ensure Santa, his sled and reindeer won't be interrupted.

Children can follow Santa's progress on the NORAD website: www.noradsanta.org.

There is lots of interest in how Santa's doing. Last year the website got 912,000,000 hits from 181 nations.

There's also a toll-free phone line - 877-HiNORAD (877-446-6723).