Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence
Canadian NORAD Region

Canadian NORAD Region

December 12, 2007 15:37 ET

Canadian NORAD Region Names Santa's Escort Pilots

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Dec. 12, 2007) - As Christmas gets closer, the Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Region has put the finishing touches on plans to track and escort Santa Claus when he visits Canada by naming four CF-18 fighter pilots as his official escorts.

Capts. Dave Moar and Craig Sharp of 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta., and Capts. Colin Marks and Yannick Jobin of 3 Wing Bagotville, Que., will take on the responsibility of welcoming Santa when he arrives in Canada on his annual Christmas Eve journey, and escorting him safely through Canadian airspace.

The pilots will also take photos and video of Santa and his sleigh using special NORAD SantaCams mounted on their aircraft. The SantaCams instantly download the photo and video imagery so that it may be viewed by children worldwide on the NORAD Tracks Santa website,, on December 24. All of this information will be available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

In coordination with the North Pole, NORAD has been informed that Santa intends to begin his journey at 4 a.m. EST, on Dec. 24. The Canadian Air Defence Sector Operations Centre at 22 Wing in North Bay, Ont., will alert NORAD when their radars detect Santa entering Canadian airspace. Two CF-18 Hornet fighter jets from 3 Wing will welcome Santa as he enters Canadian airspace off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. As Santa flies across Canada from east to west, two CF-18 Hornets from 4 Wing will escort him out of Canadian airspace and turn over escort duties to the Continental U.S. NORAD Region so that he may continue his Yuletide trip.

Children can also 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 Operations Center was staffed by more than 750 volunteers on Christmas Eve, who answered nearly 65,000 phone calls and 9,600 emails from children around the world.

NORAD uses a network of ground-based radars, sensors, air-to-air refuelling tankers, and fighter jets to detect, intercept and, if necessary, engage any threats to the continent. NORAD personnel are on duty 24 hours a day protecting North America.

To arrange an interview with an escort pilot (up to and including December 21), please contact:

- Lt. Alex Munoz, 3 Wing Public Affairs, at (418) 677-4000 ext. 7277

- Capt. Jennifer Jones, 4 Wing Public Affairs, at (780) 840-8000 ext. 8121

To arrange an interview with a radar operator (up to and including December 21), please contact:

- Capt. Cynthia Elia, 22 Wing Public Affairs, at (705) 494-6011 ext. 2495

Contact Information

  • For more information on the NORAD Tracks Santa program
    Canadian NORAD Region Public Affairs
    Acting Sub-Lieut. David Lavallee
    204-833-2500 ext. 6795