Santa cleared for Christmas flight

| Friday, December 21, 2001

Kris Kringle, d.b.a. Santa Claus, recently got the green light from the U.S. Department of Transportation to engage in air travel to various points throughout the United States the night of Dec. 24. An order granting a flight certificate and signed by Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said that Santa Claus was "exceptionally fit, joyfully willing and uniquely able to engage in the interstate air transportation for which he has requested a certificate."

Mineta added that Santa has a 100 percent on-time arrival record, having never failed to deliver all of his toys by Christmas morning. In his application, Santa described himself as a citizen of the world residing at the North Pole who performs a vital and specialized transportation service. "The points to be served are the dwelling places of good girls and boys, as well as adults of goodwill, throughout the United States," Claus said in his application.

The applicant notes that his operating proposal will meet the air service requirements of countless small communities, and also will serve the major transportation hubs in all regions. Santa Claus also told DOT that his sleigh will be powered by eight tiny reindeer, with the addition of a possible ninth reindeer with a special air navigation warning light in its nose, in the event of fog or heavy snow.

Finally, the applicant, aware of the department's heightened security concerns, states that he has personally packed all his bags and has kept them in his sight for months. He also vouches for his trusted elves, who lovingly prepared the contents and carefully handled the packing as they have done for centuries without incident. The department said that no one has opposed the application, and Mr. Claus disclosed several million letters of support from children everywhere. "In these circumstances, it appears that a grant of the applicant's request is in the highest public interest," the department said.

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