Santa’s Sleigh to Get Official NORAD Escort

The pilots guiding Santa’s sleigh into Canadian airspace will be working overtime tonight to ensure the big man in red arrives safely to his many delivery destinations.

The Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Region will use four CF-18 fighter pilots who will act as Santa’s official escorts.

Major Benoit Bouchard, and Captain Vincent Landry of the 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron, 3 Wing, Bagotville, Quebec, will conduct the first escort duties to welcome Santa into Canada and, at the east-west centre-point of Canada, near the Ontario-Manitoba border, switch over escort duties to Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel McLeod and Captain Shamus Allen of 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron, 4 Wing, Cold Lake, Alberta, as Santa makes his way into Western Canada.

Children anticipating Santa’s arrival can also receive updates on his Christmas Eve journey by calling the traditional “NORAD Tracks Santa” toll-free telephone hotline at 1-877-HI NORAD (1-877-446-6723), or by e-mailing NORAD at

Santa’s location will also be tweeted @NORADSanta and posted on