The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has cautioned all pilots over severe thunderstorms and other hazardous weather which hamper flight operations especially now that the rains are here.
This warning is coming on the heels of the Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) released by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) for the year 2021.
TheFact Nigeria reports that the meteorological agency had predicted early/late March as the commencement of rainy season in the Southern states while late April/June 2021 is the commencement of rainy season in Central and Northern parts of Nigeria.
The Director General NCAA, Musa Nuhu said the weather advisory circular was necessary to bring forth the evolving weather information associated with commencement of rainy season and the effects on safety and efficiency of flight operations; and to elicit cooperation of the following stakeholders to ensure safety air transport at all times.
The NCAA chief further tasked pilots, operators and air traffic controllers to observe series of responsibilities such that air traffic controllers may temporarily close the airspace when any of the conditions in (1) are observed or forecast by NIMET; flight crew/operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) to ensure adherence to published aerodrome weather minima.
Pilots have also been urged to exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by NIMET; while pilots/flight crew members to obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological Offices prior to flight operations.
He stated that while the authority enjoins all passengers to exercise patience and understanding during this period of heavy downpour, strict compliance to this warning is expected from all stakeholders as maximum sanction shall be imposed for non-compliance.