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 was signed by Transportation Secretary Norman
Mineta, who 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."
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.
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.
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 also told DOT that his sleigh would 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.
applicant, aware of the department's heightened security concerns,
said that although he doesn't have a sky marshal aboard he has asked
his lead reindeer, Rudolph, to stay especially alert. That would
include not traveling in no-fly zones. The department said that
no one has opposed the application, and Claus disclosed several
million letters of support from children everywhere.
circumstances, it appears that a grant of the applicant's request
is in the highest public interest," the department said.
assuming the government made no mention of hours of service rules
or black boxes for Santa," Todd Spencer, executive vice president
of the OOIDA, said. "They probably figured they'd preserve
that discussion for next year."