The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has warned pilots and all airline operators to exercise caution over hazardous weather during this dry season.
NCAA gave this warning in an Advisory Circular, AC, signed by the Director General, Capt. Musa Nuhu dated 19th December 2022, with reference no AC: NCAA-AEROMET – 34 initiated by the Directorate of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards, DAAS, addressed to Pilots and all Airline Operators.
Following the Seasonal Climate Prediction, SCP, that cessation of rainfall and weather associated with the dry season in Nigeria from late December 2022 to March/April 2023 by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET, NCAA alerted pilots about the nature of weather associated with the dry season in the nation ranging from light/moderate to severe dust haze and sometime early morning fog which can sometime reduce the horizontal visibility to below the aerodrome operating minima.
According to the agency, with the issuance of this circular, Advisory Circular AC: NCAA – AEROMET 33 is accordingly cancelled.
Enumerated below are the effect of this hazardous weather on flight operation:
a.) Air-to-ground visibility reduction due to haze, fog, dust.
b.) Aerodrome visibility may fall beneath the prescribed operating minima, and in severe conditions, dust haze can blot out runways, markers and airfield lighting over wide areas making visual navigation extremely difficult or impossible.
c.) Flights are bound to be a delay, diverted or cancelled where terminal visibility falls below the prescribed aerodrome operating minima.
In view of the above, NCAA obliged Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers and Operators to abide by these safety requirements.
i.) Closure of the airspace by Air Traffic Controller when any of these conditions in (3) are observed or forecast by NIMET.
ii.) Strict adherence to published aerodrome weather minima by Flight Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers ATC.
iii.) Pilots/Flight Crew Members shall obtain adequate departure, en-route destination weather information and briefing from NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological Office and Stations prior to flight operations and exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed.
iv.) Operators shall ensure that necessary measure are put in place to cushion the effect of delays and cancellations on their passengers.
The aviation authority encouraged all passengers to exercise patience and understanding during the period as their safety is of utmost importance.