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Tracking agencies are conflicted about Santa’s route this Christmas

AP Photo/Mark Thiessen
Where are they off to next?
By Sonali Kohli
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Santa Claus is coming to town, and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) is on his tail.

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Norad has been following Santa for decades, so it’s a pretty safe bet to follow its tracker, which finds Santa using the heat from Rudolph the reindeer’s nose.

However, as Quartz pointed out last year, it can be difficult to reconcile the conflicting reports as to Santa’s whereabouts. At the time of writing, for example, the Norad tracker puts the jolly North Pole resident en route to Chengdu, China, while both and a FlightAware tracker see SANTA1 flying around Queensland.

Then again, Santa is magical, so he can probably bend time and be in two places at once.

The US Federal Aviation Administration, meanwhile, claims that Santa is now using airports, with help from “control tower elves.” (video) So if your flight home for the holidays gets delayed, you know who to blame.

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