Airservices continues preparations: call sign released

15 Dec 2016

Airservices preparations for Santa’s visit to Australia on 24 December, one of the busiest nights of the year for our air traffic controllers are well underway.

Airservices has now allocated Santa his 2016 call sign—‘SLEIGH RIDER ONE’—to communicate with air traffic control on Christmas Eve.

We have used a number of initiatives including the use of tailwinds to lessen the effort for the reindeers to keep them fresh for the long trip, reducing airborne holding by making Santa the priority for the big flight and ensuring we minimise Santa’s sleigh noise by using a ‘continuous descent’ when arriving into every airport.

The initiatives we have adapted to Santa’s flight is in keeping with Airservices increased focus on technology and making better use of our systems to improve performance, efficiency and safety.

In the lead-up to Christmas, Airservices has been working closely with Santa to ensure safe and efficient passage for his sleigh and reindeer across the nation’s skies.


Video footage of Santa lodging his flight plan with Airservices will be available from Tuesday 20 December and a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) advising all air traffic of Santa’s activities will be published on Thursday 21 December.

An animation of the flight path Santa will take across Australia will be available from Thursday 21 December.

An Airservices representative will be available for interview until 1 pm AEST and again from 4-7pm AEST on Saturday 24 December. Due to the high level of interest please book all requests for media interviews by no later than 4 pm Tuesday 20 December.

Media can download high resolution photographs at

A broadcast quality audio grab of Santa speaking with controllers in-flight on Christmas Eve will be available for download from Airservices newsroom from 25 December.

Follow our preparations at or