News : Where in the World Is Santa?
Santa Clara, Calif. December 17, 2015 -- For the 60th consecutive year, boys and girls eager to follow Santa’s December 24 travels can call a trusted resource. Volunteers staffing at NORAD Tracks Santa hotline will be poised to answer their most pressing questions – from Santa’s estimated arrival time to the amount of weight he gains eating cookies throughout the long night.
Volunteers will use an Avaya Customer Engagement Solution to respond to the children of all ages who are expected to flood the hotline with calls. It’s the same technology Avaya Government Solutions uses to support the important mission of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Operations Center at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo. As a result, it has been extensively tested by the Department of Defense Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) and is certified to be Santa-ready.
Calls fielded by the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline have grown steadily, totaling nearly 550,000 over the last five years alone. Last year set a new record with 134,970 calls from all corners of the globe during a single 23-hour period. Volunteers will be at their posts again this year from 4 a.m. MST (6 a.m. EST) on December 24 through the early morning hours of December 25.
The Avaya-powered hotline is part of a program to make certain Santa makes a successful journey. NORAD experts carefully monitor his travels and ensure his safety using radar, satellites, jet planes and Santa Cams positioned in strategic locations worldwide. As a result, NORAD Tracks Santa volunteers have an insider’s view of Santa’s progress to share as he soars through the night sky.
NORAD Tracks Santa began 60 years ago with a simple typo. A department store ad promoting a December 24 Santa hotline mistakenly listed the number of an air defense operations center in Colorado. Colonel Harry Shoup was on duty that night. Rather than hanging up, he had his team check the radar, find Santa’s location and share the information with every child who called. Since then, thousands of volunteers and corporate contributors have helped NORAD keep the magic alive – turning the program into an enduring and beloved annual tradition.
As this year’s wait for Santa begins, NORAD has posted family-friendly games, videos and information about Santa online. Details about Santa’s travels will also be available on December 24 through social media, including facebook, twitter, or youtube.
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North American Aerospace Defense Command is a combined organization of the United States and Canada that provides aerospace warning, air sovereignty, and defense for Northern America. Headquarters for NORAD and the NORAD/United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) center are located at Peterson Air Force Base in El Paso County, near Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Published: Thursday, December 24, 2015