Transportation secretary opens military airspace for Santa

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Andrew Polvino
  • 316th Wing Public Affairs
The secretary of Transportation and Santa Claus signed a flight certificate Dec. 18 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., that authorizes Santa to fly through military airspace in order for him to successfully deliver all his gifts to children across the nation.

The certificate, also signed by Col. Steve Shepro, 316th Wing commander, explains how the military is opening up airspace called "Santa Skylanes" so Santa can deliver gifts to good boys and girls in time for Christmas. 

"We know Santa Claus must adhere to a really tight schedule to get to every house on his list," Secretary Mary E. Peters said. "Allowing him to use military airspace will ensure that the crowded sky won't mean empty stocking on Christmas morning. It just wouldn't do to have the 'Gridlock Grinch' stealing Christmas."

Secretary Peters said the temporary use of military airspace for civilian flights, made available by the Air Force significantly reduced travel times during last year's holiday period. Last year's "Holiday Express Lanes" allowed some East Coast flights to trim more than 100 miles off their trips, while 4,800 flights used California military airspace saving 96,000 miles.

After the signing of the certificate, Santa Claus and Secretary Peters greeted military members and their children, ensuring them Christmas gifts would reach their destinations on time.

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