Like every good pilot, Santa underwent an annual physical required for all pilots who want to get and keep their license. Despite his notorious sweet tooth and hectic schedule, we are pleased to say that he passed with flying colours. While Mrs. Claus was confident Santa would pass, some of his elves were a little more concerned. One anonymous elf went so far as to email us this morning to say:
"Sure he does his exercises - he even makes us do them with him - but he also sneaks cookies and candies behind Mrs. Claus' back," he said. "We were really worried he wasn't going to pass his physical this year but all his sit-ups and early morning jogs around the North Pole have kept him in top shape!"
During his annual flight tests Santa once again wowed Transport Canada with his keen ability gained through years of flying in the worst possible weather conditions! The pilot with him on his check ride was even heard to be asking Santa for his tips and tricks for take-offs and landings in urban centres and flying in whiteout conditions, so that he could pass them along to all his pilot friends.
Earlier this month one lucky inspector got to travel to Santa's secret North Pole facility to conduct an inspection of Santa's operation, including everything from his training records to the landing gear of his sleigh. The inspector also reminded Santa of how important it is to rest before flying and to complete all his pre-flight checks (including looking for ice build-ups, checking that Rudolph's nose is shining bright and making sure any elves onboard are informed about safety procedures).
Finally, just this morning, Santa passed his final pre-flight take off inspection and his great gift bag full of presents for boys and girls was checked using the latest screening technology to make sure it was safe, secure and ready for delivery.
Before shutting down his mobile device for his evening flight, Santa made one last call to tell us how much he enjoys living in Canada because of all the well behaved children and our country's continued commitment to aviation safety. For a busy man like Santa knowing that Canada has one of the best aviation safety records in the world and that Transport Canada is looking out for him means he has one less thing to worry about on the busiest day of his year.
With all his inspections passed, his paperwork in order and his flight plan filed, millions of children across Canada can close their eyes and sleep tight tonight knowing that Santa is ready to start his deliveries.
Boys and girls can follow Santa as he makes his way across the planet through the NORAD Tracks Santa website at www.noradsanta.org/.