Where is Santa? NORAD tracks big man in red across Canadian airspace

Santa Claus doesn't file a flight plan with NORAD, the agency that monitors airspace, so when his sleigh shows up on the radar crew at CFB North Bay track him during his Christmas eve mission to deliver presents to boys and girls in Canada.

CFB North Bay on tap for big Christmas Eve mission

NORAD Tracks Santa

5 years ago
Duration 3:41
Each year, NORAD, based in North Bay, Ont., tracks Santa.

The Canadian Armed Forces in North Bay, Ont., has a very important Sunday night.

The military base is home to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which monitors the airspace above Canada 365 days of the year. NORAD identifies any object that may not have a flight plan.

Santa Claus does not file a flight plan, says Major Kathleen Leaton, a mission crew commander at 22-Wing CFB North Bay.

She explains that a large team of people at CFB North Bay make sure that any object that shows up on the radar is identified. Any object that appears and does not have a flight plan, will be visually identified by NORAD fighter jets.

Every Christmas Eve, NORAD provides Santa and his reindeer with an escort through Canadian airspace with the help of those fighter jets.

"Although he is probably our most special visitor on Christmas Eve, Santa is just like any other air traffic," Leaton says.

"Everyday 365 days a year NORAD is working to keep Canada and the rest of North America safe by making sure that the right air traffic is coming into the country."

Children of all ages can follow Santa's track across Canada at

With files from Angela Gemmill