North American Aerospace Defense Command's Santa Web site going live

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs


In advance of holiday season and the 51st season of NORAD tracking Santa Claus on his annual journey around the world, the bi-national command tasked with providing aerospace security for North America announces that the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site will go live Nov. 17, 2006.

The NTS program began in 1955 when an errant phone call was made to NORAD’s predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The call was from a local child who dialed a misprinted telephone number in a local newspaper advertisement. Although the wrong number, the commander who answered the phone that night gave the youngster the information he requested – the whereabouts of Santa Claus … thus the tradition of NORAD tracking Santa began.

The program has grown immensely since it was first presented on the Internet in 1998. In 2005, the Web site received a whopping 912 million hits from 204 countries and territories. In addition, the NTS Operations Center, occupied by 550 volunteers on Christmas Eve, answered nearly 55,000 phone calls and nearly 98,240 emails from children around the world.

The Web site features the history of the program, information on how NORAD tracks Santa and interactive games. On December 24, beginning at 2:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time (4 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, 9 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time), the Web site will feature a minute-by-minute update on Santa’s travels around the world. All of this information is available English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.
The NORAD Tracks Santa Web site and program would not be possible without the support and generosity of the following organizations:

Island Web Studios
America On Line
Analytical Graphics, Inc
Globelink Foreign Language Center
Qwest Communications
Microsoft Virtual Earth