All pilots have been cautioned by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) over severe thunderstorms and other hazardous weather which hamper flight operations especially now that we are in the season.
The NCAA said this warning is a follow up to its Advisory Circular (AC) NCAA-AEROMET – 31 addressed to Pilots and Airline Operators and signed by its Director-General, Capt. Musa Nuhu.
This is coming on the advent of the Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) released by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) for the year 2021.
NIMET 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.
Consequently, this weather advisory circular is 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 the cooperation of the following stakeholders to ensure safety air transport at all times.
The NCAA therefore directed Pilots, Operators and Air Traffic Controllers Pilots to observe series of responsibilities enumerated below forthwith:
- Air Traffic Controllers may temporarily close the airspace when any of the conditions in (1) are observed or forecast by NIMET;
- Flight Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) to ensure adherence to published aerodrome weather minima;
- Pilots to exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by NIMET; and
- 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.
While enjoining all passengers to exercise patience and understanding during this period of heavy downpour, the Authority said strict compliance to this warning is expected from all stakeholders as maximum sanction shall be imposed for non-compliance.