Canadian NORAD Region

Canadian NORAD Region

December 16, 2009 11:06 ET

Canadian NORAD Region Names Santa's Escort Pilots

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Dec. 16, 2009) - As Christmas gets closer, the Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Region has put the finishing touches on this year's plan to welcome and track Santa Claus when he visits Canada, by naming four CF-18 fighter pilots as his official escorts.

Lieutenant-Colonel Sean Penney and Captain David Chamberlin of 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta., and Captain Yannick Jobin and Captain Dave Patrick of 3 Wing Bagotville, Que., will take on the responsibility of welcoming Santa when he arrives in Canada for his annual Christmas Eve journey.

In coordination with the North Pole, NORAD has been informed that Santa intends to begin his journey at 6 a.m. EST, on Dec. 24. A dedicated crew of radar operators from the Canadian Air Defence Sector Operations Centre at 22 Wing in North Bay, Ont., will alert NORAD when they detect Santa approaching North America off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. NORAD will then direct two CF-18 Hornet fighter jets from 3 Wing to welcome Santa as he enters Canadian airspace. As Santa flies into western Canada, two CF-18 Hornets from 4 Wing will greet the sleigh.

Children can receive updates on Santa's Christmas Eve journey by calling the traditional "NORAD Tracks Santa" telephone hotline at 1-877-HI NORAD, or by emailing NORAD at Last year, the NORAD Tracks Santa website ( received millions of visitors from hundreds of countries and territories around the world. Volunteers answered more than 73,000 phone calls and over 6,000 e-mails from children around the globe.

NORAD is a bi-national United States and Canadian organization, charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America. NORAD performs its mission 365 days-per-year, but on Christmas Eve, NORAD performs an additional mission - tracking Santa around the world.

To arrange an interview with an escort pilot, please contact:

- Captain Nicole Meszaros, 4 Wing Public Affairs, at (780) 840-8000 ext. 8121

- Captain Jean-Philippe Gaudreault, 3 Wing Public Affairs, at (418) 677-4000 ext. 7031

To arrange an interview with a radar operator, please contact:

- Lieutenant Leah Pierce, 22 Wing Public Affairs, at (705) 494-6011 ext. 2822

Contact Information

  • Canadian NORAD Region Public Affairs
    Lieutenant Jordan Woodman
    204-833-2500 ext. 2028