Waiting for the EPA to Chime In

I love NORAD’s Santa tracking efforts. They put out all kinds of cute stuff and news for kids throughout the holiday season. I just lay this out there to show that I’m not a grinch about Christmas or all bureaucrats. But, I’m not sure how I feel about the FAA getting in on the “fun.”

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety inspectors at the North Pole certified Santa One, the reindeer-powered sleigh piloted by Santa Claus, for its Christmas Eve round-the-world delivery mission. …

Unlike any other pilot, Santa has special permission from the FAA to fly thousands of domestic and international short-haul and long-range flights in one night. In keeping with the FAA’s science-based proposal to give pilots more rest, Santa will arrange his flight plan based on his circadian rhythm. Mrs. Claus also assured FAA safety inspectors that she’ll make sure he gets plenty of rest before the flight on Christmas Eve.

The release opens and closes with talk of regulation. Maybe it’s the fact that, even as a child, I never really liked rules when I wasn’t ever the child misbehaving, but I don’t like the idea of passing on the immediate acceptance of a regulatory culture to our children. My answer to kids who ask question about how Santa flies safely? Magic. He’s not flying safely because of bureaucrats. He’s flying safely because he’s magical. Let’s embrace a little bit of magic during the holiday season instead of turning to the federal government for all of our answers – even those about Santa.

However, I do have to thank the FAA for trying to keep EPA off Santa’s back. They did address the green-aspect of Santa’s sleigh:

The sleigh’s onboard systems have been upgraded with state-of-the-art, NextGen technology that will allow Santa One to maintain cruising altitude for as long as possible before making a continuous descent into cities and towns around the world. While maneuvering on rooftops, an advanced, onboard runway safety system will help reduce the risk of incursions between the sleigh and chimneys.

Santa’s reindeer-powered sleigh is already energy-efficient, but the NextGen technologies will further reduce Santa One’s carbon hoofprint. The shorter, faster routings means that Rudolph and the other reindeer will consume less hay, resulting in fewer greenhouse gases.

At least FAA’s answer to Santa is to just give clearance for his sleigh. EPA’s would be to shut it down, lest we risk reindeer poo contaminating our water supplies and cookie crumbs littering our lawns.

9 thoughts on “Waiting for the EPA to Chime In”

  1. When interviewed…Santa responded with the following comment:


    Needless to say I’ll be taking a trip to Pittsburgh this week. Had to pick up some extra coal for all those FAA stockings.


    FAA has no jurisdiction over me, I work directly for G-O-D. The U.S. Air Force hasn’t even built a jet fast enough for me to worry about them. I visit nearly a billion homes in one night, do you know how many MPHs that is?”

  2. You’ve heard the old joke about Santa’s FAA checkride, right?

    (Short version: after some discussion with Santa, and a physical inspection of the sleight, the FAA inspector climbs on board with a pre-war, pre-64 Model 70 in .270 Winchester.

    Santa asks him, “Hey, what’s going on?”

    The FAA inspector winks at Santa and says, “Well, I’m not supposed to tell you this, but you’re going to lose an engine on takeoff…” )

  3. I think it’s funny, or rather, stupid, that the FAA–in existence for only how many decades? It can’t be that much!–thinks it can tell Santa how to fly a reindeer-powered sleigh safely, who has been doing that for centuries.

  4. When our kids were five and two, our neighborhood organized a “Visit by Santa” on Christmas Eve. Around 9pm, with myself and my wife standing next to them on the stairs, my kids were called down the stairs, told to be quiet, and then watched Santa put some gifts under the tree, They were dumbfounded.

    About a decade later, this evil parenting trick came up in conversation with my son and daughter. They both conclusively stated it had to have been me, despite my standing next to them on the stairs at the time.

    Kids have a very strong BS detector, and will readily change their reality to explain things that aren’t right.

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