Following the coming of rainy season, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued a weather hazard alert to all pilots and airline operators indicating hazards associated with rainy season in flight operations at this period of the year.
General manager, public relations department, NCAA, Sam Adurogboye said yesterday that the alert was 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.
It added that the above mentioned factors are known to pose obvious threat to aircraft operations. “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 the year 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”, NCAA noted.
The regulatory agency, therefore, warned that pilots, operators and Air Traffic Controllers should take note of their responsibilities as follows: 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.
It said 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 and that 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 equally advised all operators to ensure necessary measures are put in place to manage effects of flight delays or cancellations on their passengers. “All stakeholders are required to ensure strict compliance with this Circular as violations would be viewed seriously”, the agency warned.