Air passengers show brace up for flight delay and cancellation, as severe thunderstorms and other hazardous weather which hamper flight operations especially during rainy seasons are expected to halt air transport.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), who warned pilots about the imminent weather condition, said, this development is not new as it has always been like this during rainy season.
The managing director, NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, gave the warning in an Advisory Circular (AC) with reference no AC: NCAA-AEROMET – 31 addressed to all pilots and airline operators and a copy made available to LEADERSHIP.
According to the NCAA boss, the warning is coming on the advent of the Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) released by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) for the year 2021.
NIMET, he said, has predicted early/late March as the commencement of rainy season in the Southern states while late April/June 2021 is the commencement of rainy season in Central and Northern parts of Nigeria.
Consequently, he said, this weather advisory circular is necessary to bring forth the evolving weather information associated with commencement of rainy season and the effects on safety and efficiency of flight operations; and to elicit cooperation of stakeholders to ensure safety air transport at all times.
“Therefore, Pilots, Operators and Air Traffic Controllers Pilots are directed to observe series of responsibilities enumerated forthwith: Air Traffic Controllers may temporarily close the airspace when any of the conditions in (1) are observed or forecast by NIMET.”
“Flight Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) to ensure adherence to published aerodrome weather minima; Pilots to exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by NIMET; and Pilots/Flight Crew members to obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological Offices prior to flight operations,” he pointed out.
While the Authority enjoined all passengers to exercise patience and understanding during this period of heavy downpour, he said, strict compliance to this warning is expected from all stakeholders as maximum sanction shall be imposed for non-compliance.