Pilots and airline operators have been warned by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to exercise caution during the rainy season due to aviation hazardous weather.
The Directorate of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards (DAAS) issued an Advisory Circular (AC) with the reference number AC: NCAA-AEROMET – 33, which was addressed to all pilots and airline operators and signed by the Director General, Capt. Musa Nuhu.
The AC will arrive with the announcement of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency’s Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) for 2022. (NIMET).
Early/late March is projected to be the start of rainy season in the Southern states, while April/May and June 2022 will be the start of rainy season in the Central and Northern portions of Nigeria, according to NIMET.
The beginning of the rainy season is frequently marked by strong thunderstorms and a variety of other dangerous weather phenomena like as severe turbulence, microburst, and low level wind shear events, all of which can compromise flight safety. As a result, all stakeholders must fulfill their responsibilities as outlined below in order to ensure the safety of flight operations.
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According to the agency, Advisory Circular (AC): NCAA – AEROMET 32 has been cancelled as a result of the issue of this circular.
“Therefore, enumerated below is the responsibility for Air Traffic Controllers in the interest of safety: Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) may temporarily close the airspace when hazardous weather conditions such as severe thunderstorm, squall lines microburst or level wind-shear are forecast by NIMET.
“On the other hand, enumerated below are series of responsibilities for pilots and flight crew/operators: Flight Crews/Operators and ATCs shall ensure strict adherence to aerodrome operating minima; pilots shall exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by NIMET and pilots /Flight Crew Members shall obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET Aerodrome Meterelogical Stations prior to flight operations.
“In view of the above, operators are required to play a key role in ensuring adequate measures are put in place to lessen the effects of the attendant flight delays and cancellations on their passengers occasioned by hazardous severe weather during rainy season in accordance with Nig. CARs, Part 19,” the agency said.
The Authority also requested all passengers to be patient and understanding at this time, as their safety is paramount. Stakeholders should adhere to all safety laws, as breaches would be taken seriously.