By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Despite being pounded by the Holiday Blizzard of 2006, North American Aerospace Defense Command remains on alert for the nation and ready to track Santa Claus, according to NORAD officials.“NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center is schedule to begin operations as scheduled at 2 a.m. Christmas Eve,” said Michael Perini, Director of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command Public Affairs.More than 800 Santa tracking volunteers will cycle through the center answering telephone calls and e-mails from children around the world wanting to get a fix on Santa Claus’ whereabouts.
"In 2005, the volunteers at the Operations Center received 563,452 telephone calls and 103,156 emails from children around the world,” Perini said. The NORAD Tracks Santa Web site, www.noradsanta.org, went live Nov. 17 and has already garnered an amazing 48,695,357 page views. Last year the site received 907,958,865 page views from 204 countries and territories around the world.
Beginning at 2:00 a.m. MST on December 24, the Web site will provide minute-by-minute updates on Santa’s journey around the world. A toll free number is also available at 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) for children to call and personally speak to a Santa Tracker on Christmas Eve.
For media looking for media spots, the following information applies:
• Download top-and bottom-of-the-hour audio updates for broadcast are available at: www.noradsanta.org/media/2006/audio
• 3-D digital videos are available to network affiliate news services for Christmas Eve broadcasting. Please contact your network feed service to stream any or all of Santa's 24 key stops around the world (approx. 30 seconds each). Qualified media outlets without access to affiliate feed services can receive beta tapes of the video trails; please go to www.agi.com/santamedia or call Joanne Welsh, AGI media relations manager, at (610) 981-8148 no later than Dec. 20, 2006.
NOTE TO MEDIA REPS: Registration is required to cover the event. For questions, please call (719) 554-3525/4072. Media representatives wishing to cover events live at the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center at Peterson AFB should call Mr. Michael Kucharek, NORAD and USNORTHCOM Current Operations Chief, at 719-554-9618.