The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), yesterday issued a weather hazard alert to all pilots and airline operators indicating hazards associated with flight operations during the rainy season.
Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, issued the alert in an Advisory Circular to the airlines in Lagos. Usman said in the circular that NCAA-AEROMET-25 was issued based on the Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) released for 2018 by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet).
According to him, the agency had predicted March/April and May/June 2018 as the onset for rainy season in the Southern and Northern parts of Nigeria respectively.
“This alert is quite imperative at the outset 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 above mentioned factors are known to pose obvious threat to aircraft operations,” Usman said.
He urged the pilots, operators and Air Traffic Controllers to take note of their various responsibilities. “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 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,” he said.
He advised the operators to ensure that necessary measures were put in place to manage the effects of flight delays or cancellations on their passengers. He said all stakeholders were required to ensure strict compliance as violations would be viewed seriously.