The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has warned pilots and airline operators to be wary of bad weather and attendant thunderstorms.
The weather alert, issued last Thursday, was in lieu of the outset of the rainy season and the need to exercise “extreme caution during flight operations”.
The rainy season, which is torrential, is prevalent in the Southern and Northern parts of Nigeria. It is usually accompanied by severe thunderstorms, which could impact the safety of flight operations.
There are many other hazardous weather occurrences such as severe turbulence, microburst or low level wind-shear and occasionally hail events are bound to affect air navigation.
The apex regulatory authority, therefore, directs all pilots to recourse to utmost restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET).
General Manager, Public Relations of the NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, said pilots and flight crews shall mandatorily obtain adequate, en route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological offices before flight operations.
“In the same vein, Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) and Flight Crews/Operators shall ensure total compliance with all aerodromes operating minima.
“It is quite important for all intending air travellers and airline operators to note that in line with Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) may temporarily close airspace during inclement weather conditions.
“These are adverse weather conditions such as severe thunderstorms, squall lines microburst or low level wind-shear as observed or forecast by NIMET,” he said.
Recall that a similar weather alert was issued by the authority in March at the advent of the rainy season. It was circulated to the entire industry stating ahead of time what to expect and recommended precautionary measures.
The NCAA expects strict adherence to this directive to ensure the safety of air transportation in Nigeria.