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Nigeria’s airspace and even the airports have of recent been experiencing adverse weather conditions in fits and starts, and with the potential to inhibit smooth and safe flight operations.
Therefore, Pilots, airline operators in Nigeria and those flying into the Nation’s airspace have been charged as a matter of obligation, to strictly comply with the Weather Advisory Circular, WAC, issued Tuesday, by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.
In a media statement signed by the Director General, NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, he stated that the objective of the WAC is to bring Pilots and operators up to date on the occurrence of thunderstorm phenomenon over Nigerian airports since the onset of rainy season in the country.
The circular highlighted that, statistics from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET, indicated that most of the airports in Nigeria had recorded quite a number of thunderstorms between the months of March and July 2020.
The NCAA further explained that in the month of July 2020, NIMET data revealed a number of thunderstorm occurrence thus: Abuja (23), Ikeja (8), Kano (24), Port Harcourt (11), Owerri (17) and Benin (11). While in the same month according to the statement, Gustiness ranged between 22Kt and 42Kt at the listed airports.
According to the media statement, the WAC is to highlight the evolving weather situation which could adversely affect safe and efficient flight operations, post Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the circular sounded a note of warning thus, “Severe thunderstorms and many other hazardous weather phenomena such as severe turbulence, micro-burst, low level wind shear and hail events that could affect the safety of flight operations are possible during rainy season; therefore, all stakeholders are expected to perform their roles as stated below in order to ensure safety of flight operations”
The WAC therefore chronicled as follows, possible weather induced situations and what the industry’s official reactions to the conditions would be;
- Air Traffic controllers may temporarily close airspace when hazardous weather conditions such as severe thunderstorms squall lines micro-burst or low level wind-shear are observed or forecast by NIMET.
- 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;
- Pilot / Flight Crew Members shall obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological offices prior to flight operations.
The directive concluded that, NCAA expects nothing less than strict compliance to this circular from all stakeholders and violation would be viewed very seriously.Share