By Richard Abu
The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCCA) has issued a weather hazard alert warning to all pilots and airline operators in the country.
The action is aimed at avoiding air mishaps and flight disruptions as the rainy season approaches.
With the development, air traffic controllers are to temporarily close airspace when hazardous weather conditions such as severe thunderstorms, squall lines, microburst or low-level wind shear are notice or forecast by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET).
According to an aviation online platform, NCAA also asked operators to ensure necessary measures are adopted to manage effects of flight delays or cancellations on their passengers.
This alert, according to NCAA, is imperative at the beginning of the rainy season, which is usually accompanied with severe thunderstorms and many other hazardous weather phenomena such as turbulence, microburst, low-level wind shear and hail events.
The advisory circular as approved by the Director-General, Capt. Muhtar Usman – NCAA-AEROMET -25, is issued based on the Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) released for 2018 by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) which predicts March April and May/June 2018 as the onset for rainy season in the Southern and Northern parts of Nigeria respectively.
Therefore, pilots, operators and air traffic controllers are take note of their responsibilities such as air traffic controllers may temporarily close airspace when hazardous weather conditions such as severe thunderstorms, squall lines, microburst or low-level wind shear are observed or forecast by Nimet.
* Flight crews/operators and air traffic controllers (ATC) shall ensure adherence to aerodrome weather minima.
*Pilots shall exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by NIMET.
*Pilots/Flight crew members shall obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET aerodrome meteorological officer prior to flight operations.
NCAA further advised operators to ensure necessary measures are put in place to manage effects of flight delays or cancellations on their passengers.
By Richard Abu