LONDON: British Airways has been given a sneaky peek at Santa’s flight plan for the big night of December 24.
The detailed chart, which is now filed with authorities around the world, shows the approach and trajectory his sleigh will take when he comes to town.
On approach, the sleigh will descend from 3,000ft to 2,500ft on a track of true North between SANTA and CLAUS. If the visibility remains good and the snow isn’t too heavy then the sleigh will descend on the final stages of its approach from COMNG to TOWNN, but in the event that the weather conditions are not good enough to land then Santa will climb back to an altitude of 2,500ft before turning right at MSLTO. That will inevitably lead to KSSNG where he will linger until the weather improves.
With the recently installed tinsel approach lighting now fully functioning and Rudolph’s state-of-the-art nose lighting system, the sleigh has a ‘decision height’ of just 250ft which will help Santa manage any bad weather, resulting in a safe landing.
Safety is obviously a priority for Santa and his team, so the plan warns that elves will be on the runway and that reindeer games could slow down ground operations. Other aircraft are advised to look out for the blinding red nose.
On December 24, British Airways will be handing over the rights to the call-sign SANTA1 to Father Christmas and his sleigh. The airline has been using it for charter flights with Canterbury Travel to take children to visit Santa himself in Lapland in the run-up to Christmas.
British Airways Captain, David Thomas, said: “Santa has absolute priority over the skies on Christmas Eve and we’ll be cheering him on. There will be 70 British Airways aircraft flying that night to the four corners of the world, so we’ll be telling our customers to look out for the sleigh and to give Santa and his reindeer a wave.”
In recognition of the 317 million miles Santa will cover in just one night, British Airways is also presenting Mr Claus with his own Gold Executive Club card, the top flight of the airline’s loyalty scheme. To reflect its owner’s festive status, the card’s number is 20141225. It’s being sent first class to: Mr S Claus, Christmas Cottage, Lapland, North Pole, MRY XMS.
James Hillier from British Airways’ Executive Club: “We’re in awe of the amazing journey that Santa makes on Christmas Eve. He may not be flying with us, but we think he deserves some recognition for his epic journey and all the joy his flight brings.” News Desk