Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday issued a weather hazard alert to all pilots and airline operators, urging them to be wary of danger associated with rainy season in flight operations.
The apex regulatory body said the warning was important in lieu of the outset of the rainy season that is usually accompanied with severe thunderstorm and many other hazardous weather phenomena such as turbulence, microburst, low level wind shear and hail events. The phenomena are known to pose threat to aircraft operations.
General Manager, Public Relations of the NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, said the advisory circular issued to pilots and operators was based on the 2018 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) released by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET).
NIMET has predicted March/April and May/June 2018 as the onset for rainy season in the Southern and Northern parts of Nigeria respectively.Pilots, operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) are, therefore, urged to take note of their various responsibilities.
According to the NCAA, “The 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.
“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.
“Operators are, therefore, advised 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 circular read in part.