PHOENIX – Santa Claus may traditionally fly around in a sleigh pulled by reindeer on Christmas Eve to deliver presents; however, Santa will be arriving by helicopter at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport to hand out presents to children at an annual Christmas party hosted by the airport staff.
On Dec. 11, a group of first graders from Grand Canyon Elementary School will be bused in to the Grand Canyon Airport, which is owned and operated by the Arizona Department of Transportation, to participate in a Christmas party. The children will help decorate the Christmas tree in the main terminal, enjoy snacks provided by ADOT staff and Vision Airlines, and meet Santa Claus.
Santa will arrive at the airport around 1 p.m., courtesy of long-time airport tenant Maverick Helicopters, and make his way inside where the children will be able to sit on his lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. Each child will then receive a gift from Santa.
“This party has become a tradition here at the airport,” said Grand Canyon Airport Manager Mike Halpin. “The smiles on the kids’ faces make the effort by the staff worth it. They really do a great job of hosting this event.”
For years, the event was handled entirely by the airport staff, who would pay for the snacks and gifts out of their own pockets. This year, ADOT Awards and Recognition got involved to help put on the event, which has been happening for more than a decade at the airport.
“We are happy to help the airport staff with the kids’ Christmas party this year,” said Awards and Recognition Program Administrator Candee Samora. “It is important for us at ADOT to give back to the community, especially around the holidays.”
For more information about the Grand Canyon Airport, visit azdot.gov/GrandCanyonAirport