NCAA Cautions Pilots, Airline Operators, ATCs Over Hazardous Weather

November 2, (THEWILL) – The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has advised pilots and airline operators to exercise caution over hazardous weather in the dry season.

This followed an official statement issued by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) on weather, alerting the public on the possibility of deterioration in visibility as a result of observed dust haze propagated into the country from the source region.

According to the release, “Winds over 10m and 925hPha are favorable for Dust-Haze propagations into the Northern parts of the country. Stations in the source region, Niger (Goure, Zinder, Maine-Soroa, Diffa, N-Guigmi and 61091) reported horizontal visibility between 800m and 6000m. These sources from Chad are expected to report poor horizontal visibility in the next 24 hours, based on available models.”

Due to strong winds, the dust in suspension is expected to propagate to some states in the northern part of the country, which will further reduce horizontal visibility, especially over Katsina, Kano, Nguru, Jigawa, Potiskum and Maiduguri in the next 24 hours.

Explaining further, NCAA, in a statement issued Tuesday and signed by its Director General, Captain Musa Nuhu, stated,

“This information 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. Therefore, members of the general public are to take necessary precautions during this time in the planning of their trips so as not to encounter unnecessary flight delays.

“Enumerated below are the effects of this hazardous weather on flight operations: Air-to-ground visibility reduction due to haze dust or fog; 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 flights are bound to be delayed, diverted or cancelled where terminal visibility falls below the prescribed aerodrome operating minima.”

In view of the above, the regulator maintained that all pilots, operators and Air Traffic Controllers are obliged to abide by these safety requirements:

“Closure of the airspace by Air Traffic Controllers when any of these conditions in (3) are observed or forecast by NIMET; Strict adherence to published aerodrome weather minima by Flight Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC); 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 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 urges all passengers to exercise patience and understanding during this period as their safety is of utmost importance, airline operators and stakeholders are also advised to avail themselves of weather reports for effective planning in their operations as violations would be viewed seriously,” the NCAA added.

Source: The Will

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