The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has advised Pilots and Airline Operators to exercise caution over hazardous weather in the dry season. While passengers have also been urged to cooperate with the decisions of the flight crew in the face of unfavourable weather conditions to safe flight operations.
This warning was contained in an Advisory Circular, AC, with reference number, AC: NCAA-AEROMET – 34 and signed by the Director General, Civil Aviation, DGCA, Capt Musa Nuhu.
According to a media statement issued from the circular dated, 19th December 2022, the Advisory Circular, AC, was a sequel to the Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) issued by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET, which reported that cessation of rainfall and the emergence of weather conditions associated with the Dry Season in Nigeria from late December 2022 to March/April 2023, requires caution.
Hence, the statement said, “this AC is intended to alert pilots about the nature of weather associated with the dry season in Nigeria ranging from light, moderate to severe dust haze and sometimes early morning fog which can sometimes reduce the horizontal visibility to below the aerodrome operating minima”.
Please find Enumerated below are effects of this hazardous weather on flight operations and the precautionary measures obligated by the operators and pilots;
a.) Air-to-ground visibility reduction due to haze dust or fog;
b.) Aerodrome visibility may fall below the prescribed operating minima and in severe conditions, dust haze can blot out runways, markers and airfield lightings over wide areas making visuals navigation extremely difficult or impossible, and;
c.) Flights are bound to be delayed, diverted or cancelled where terminal visibility falls below the prescribed aerodrome operating minima.
In view of the above, all Pilots, Operators and Air Traffic Controllers are obliged to abide by these safety requirements:
i.) Closure of the airspace by Air Traffic Controllers when any of these
conditions in (3) are observed or forecast by NIMET;
ii.) Strict adherence to published aerodrome weather minima by Flight
Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC);
iii.) Pilots/Flight Crew Members shall obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET
Aerodrome Meteorological Offices, and Stations prior to flight
operations and exercise maximum restraint whenever an adverse
weather is observed, and;
iv.) Operators shall ensure that all necessary measures are put in place to cushion the effects of delay or cancellations on their passengers.
While the Authority urged all passengers to exercise patience and understanding during this period as their safety is of utmost importance, stakeholders were urged to ensure strict compliance to this Advisory Circular, AC, as violations would be viewed seriously.
The statement said “with the issuance of this circular, the Advisory Circular, AC: NCAA – AEROMET 33, is accordingly cancelled”.Share