News

New technology to map Santa's flight

FLYING HIGH: Santa Claus has been given priority clearance to fly to Gladstone tonight. AAP
FLYING HIGH: Santa Claus has been given priority clearance to fly to Gladstone tonight. AAP

WHEN Santa’s sleigh enters Australian airspace on Christmas Eve, his progress through our skies will be monitored by air traffic controllers using the latest state-of-the-art surveillance equipment.

Although sworn to secrecy, Airservices Australia’s controllers will know exactly where Santa is at any given moment.

His sleigh will be equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) technology which broadcasts his call-sign, position, altitude, velocity and other data.

The accuracy of the information displayed on controllers’ screens will allow them to keep other aircraft well clear of Santa’s flight-path and give him priority as he carries out his special deliveries.

Airservices provides air traffic control services over 11 per cent of the world’s airspace and is one of the first air navigation service providers in the world to adopt ADS-B.

ADS-B project manager Donna Willis said Airservices technical teams had completed the installation of 28 ADS-B ground stations nationwide in 2009.

Once linked by secure communications to existing radar sites they will provide radar-like coverage over continental Australia for the first time ever.

“Our controllers are really looking forward to expanding their use of this new technology,” Ms Willis said.

“It’s a very exciting Christmas present for the aviation industry and a world first.”

Although most pilots will be fast asleep when Santa comes to deliver his presents but there will be some still flying — like passenger jets, air ambulances or police helicopters.

An Air Services Australia spokesperson said air traffic controllers would be able to see the sleigh tonight, but other aircraft would not.

The spokeswoman said controllers would direct aircraft away from its flight path to give Santa special priority clearance.

“Santa’s nine magic reindeer led by Rudolph with his big red nose will be the fastest aircraft in the sky and it’s important that nothing gets in their way,” a statement on the group’s website said.

More details about Santa and the nine magic reindeer’s 2009 flight can be found on Airservices’ special children’s website at www.airservicesaustralia.com/santa09




New church to open in Calliope, February

BIGGER AND BETTER: Lifestyle Church, which opened in Gladstone 10 years ago yesterday, celebrated their Milestone by announcing the church is expanding to Calliope in February. Pictured: Gabby Curro, 12. and Erica El-Khori, 11.Photo Mike Richards / The Observer

LIFESTYLE Church are expanding to Calliope

Fishing industry squeezed out by new 60% target

THE fishing industry is casting its eye over the State Government’s green paper on fisheries management reform.

FISHING industry casting eye over State Government's green paper

Man, 69, throws at rocks neighbour’s fence to quiet barking hounds

FILE PHOTO: Gladstone Courthouse, Yarroon St.

Man calls police after neighbour rocks his fence

Latest deals and offers

Reno stars want tradies to focus a little more on one thing

The Demmrichs want Tradies to look after their most important tool

Day 2 Splendour Pictures

Sticky Fingers perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Splendour in the Grass Day 2 covered in pictures.

WATCH: News reader tries her hand at hardcore shooter, Doom

Veteran journo and noob gamer takes a shot at Doom

What's on the small screen this week

MasterChef Australia's final four contestants, from left, Harry Foster, Elena Duggan, Elise Franciskovic and Matt Sinclair.

MASTERCHEF makes way for The Bachelor on Ten's reality TV slate.

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles