The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has warned that the air traffic control may be forced to close the airspace due to inclement weather conditions.
In a weather advisory circular tagged, ‘Cancellation: NCAA-AEROMET-31’, issued to all pilots and airlines, NCAA mandated pilots and airlines to ensure use of Nigerian Meteorological Agency’s (NiMet) seasonal climate prediction to ensure safety of operations due to the dust haze.
NCAA in a directive titled ‘Aviation Weather in Dry Season’ and signed by the director general of the agency, Captain Musa Nuhu, it asked pilots to expect moderate to severe dust haze, early morning fog along coastal areas which in some instances reduces horizontal visibility to less than 200 metres.
The circular also said air-to-ground visibility would be affected and that aerodrome visibility may fall below prescribed operating minima all due to dust haze or fog.
“Air traffic control may close the airspace when any of the three(3): air-to-ground visibility, visual navigation impairment and runway markers shrouding due to dust haze is observed or forecast by NiMet,” it said.
In severe conditions, NCAA warned that dust haze or fog can blot out runway markers and air field lighting over wide visual areas making visual navigation extremely difficult or impossible.
NCAA said all these may lead to delays, diversions and/or outright cancellations where terminal visibility falls below the prescribed aerodrome minima.
The agency mandated airline operators to ensure that necessary measures are put in place to cushion the effect of inclement weather and reduce effect of delays and cancellations on their passengers.