The Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority (Luftfartstilsynet) has revealed that it granted a flying certificate to the sleigh ‘Santa One’ on 18th December, stipulating that it can land anywhere inhabitants have written a Christmas wish list.
Exceptionally the permit, and is valid from 23rd-25th December, will allow Santa to put in an all-nighter: it provides a special dispensation from regulations on pilot rest periods.
“This means that Santa has all his flight operation approvals in order and that his flight will take place in a regulated manner,” said Stein Erik Nodeland, Norway's director general of civil aviation.
The certificate states that the authority had carried out an “assessment of the sleigh’s technical specifications".
"In light of the documentation received the sleigh is deemed to be airworthy in Norwegian airspace,” the certificate says. It cites the American Federal Aviation Authority’s 2010 decision to give Santa's reindeer-powered vehicle a flying permit.
This was the first time that Santa had applied for the necessary permits in Norway, he added:
“If you fly like Santa Claus does in Norwegian airspace, you must abide by our regulations and have a permit,” Nodeland said.
“He has previously flown without permission, but this year he has done everything right.”
Santa - or Julenisse as his Norwegian equivalent is known - is often thought to live in Finnish Lapland, although some claim he lives in the North Pole. In Norway Julenisse is often thought to live in the Norwegian forest.