The FAA reports that NextGen flight management technology has helped Santa double his gift-delivery capacity this year.
Besides the traditional Santa One sleigh, a new Candy Cane One will provide extra room to accommodate increased production levels at the North Pole.
“Because so many boys and girls were nice – not naughty – this year, Santa needs Candy Cane One, a jumbo cargo jet, to resupply him tonight,” said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “He made a list and, after checking it twice, realized Santa One wasn’t going to be big enough.”
FAA inspectors are on site, working closely with Santa’s elves to clear Candy Cane One for take-off. Those final inspections are always tricky, but the FAA has assigned their very best to this time-critical program.
Both Santa One and Candy Cane One are equipped with state-of-the-art, satellite-based NextGen avionics, facilitiating more direct routes from the North Pole to all points south. The FAA states that this more efficient routing will help Santa One and Candy Cane One “burn fewer carrots and less fuel, reducing emissions and lessening aviation’s hoof print on the environment.”
FAA Administratior Michael Huerta discussed the new programs with the Big Man himself and states:
“Santa told me he’s really looking forward to making the Optimized Profile Descents from cruising altitude to the rooftops, which is just like sliding down a banister instead of making the traditional staircase descent required by ground-based navigational aids. He’s had a lot of practice over the years sliding down banisters as he delivers gifts around the world.”
The FAA does not explain who will pilot each craft. Though Santa is an incredibly good multi-tasker, safety would dictate that he only try to pilot one at a time. Elves aren’t licensed to pilot the sleighs or jets on Christmas Eve. Most likely, his older brother, Fred Claus, will take over the helm of the new super jumbo Candy Cane One, Flight Chic suspects. Given a touching reconciliation between the estranged brothers in 2007, Fred may come through in a pinch, just as he has at other critical times for WNW (World’s Northernmost Workshop) Enterprises. WNW communications representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.
The FAA also made a controversial decision to classify Santa One as an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAV) during those periods where Santa leaves the controls to jump down chimneys, on roofs where the pitch is too great for the sleigh to land safely. FAA spokespersons say that they “are confident Santa will abide by agency regulations [regarding UAVs].”
If you’ve wondered what the reindeer get up to while Santa is busy eating cookies and drinking milk, the FAA reports they usually watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” on their PEDs, which is permitted by regulations.