With EGPWS, TACAS and GPS, Santa is cleared for takeoff
The government spin machine is alive and well tonight with their annual press releases meant to entertain the public as we approach the night of December 25th.
On that night, a Jolly old guy, flying fat dumb and happy, will attempt millions of approaches to tiny rooftop landing zones, many of which will be blind shots through deteriorating instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) onto compromised high-pitched “runways”…many covered in snow and ice.
But CNN is reporting that the FAA has “enhanced” Santa’s sleigh to keep him from landing hard or long: From the FAA:
The sleigh has been outfitted with new, state-of-the-art navigational equipment, including an Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System, a Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System transponder, and a Global Positioning System with FAA enhancements that allow Claus to pinpoint his exact location with one meter. The improvement is expected to assure Claus that he won't land by mistake at "the houses of children who have been naughty, not nice.And U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta has released DOT 184-05:, which states:
The Open Skies agreement signed by Secretary Mineta and Santa Claus noted Santa’s safe and efficient toy delivery operation that enables him to bring joy to millions of children in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and all U.S. territories, all without impact to air traffic carrying travelers to their holiday destinations.I know, I know, this is all in good fun. But do we really need these “official” releases “assuring” the public that Santa’s deliver system will not result in dead reindeer on their roof, at a time of heighten security?