Is that a plane in the sky? No, it's Santa!

AIRSERVICES Australia is gearing up for Santa's visit to Australia on Christmas Eve and this year a team of Aussie kids will get an inside look at what it takes to prepare for one of the busiest nights of the year in our airspace.  

Santa commanders, a group of four children aged between seven and 12, will work closely with Airservices to ensure the safe and efficient passage of Santa's sleigh and reindeer across the nation's skies.  

Airservices Executive general manager Air Traffic Control, Greg Hood, said air traffic controllers and behind-the-scenes staff have an important role to play in keeping Santa safe and he was delighted to be able to welcome the Santa Commanders on board to lend a helping hand.  

"We know it's an important job to plan Santa's trip but our team are among the best air traffic controllers in the world and will do whatever it takes to get Santa to where he needs to be on Christmas Eve, safely and on time," Mr Hood said.

"The Santa Commanders are an exciting addition to our team."  

12-year-old Toby, one of the four commanders, said he was looking forward to sharing his experience.  

"It's so cool to see all the work that goes into getting ready for Santa's trip to Australia and we can't wait to learn more about it and help out where we can.

And we'll be sharing the whole thing on Facebook so people can follow us and see what we're up to," Toby said.  

Over the coming weeks, Airservices-together with Commanders Toby (12), Bella (12), Jackson (9) and Imogen (7)-will assign Santa a callsign, plan and release his flight path and put the finishing touches on arrangements for the big night.  

The kids will be in charge of making sure everything is ready for his arrival before handing over to Airservices staff, who will guide Santa into our airspace at about midnight.  

Follow the Santa Commanders for regular updates on their experience in the lead up to Christmas Eve on Facebook.