The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued a weather alert to all pilots and airline operating the country to raise their level of compliance to aviation safety standards henceforth.
According to the federal agency, “the alert became imperative as the onset of the rainy season was usually accompanied by severe thunderstorms and many other hazardous weather phenomena such as turbulence, microburst, low-level wind shear and hail events”.
A brief statement signed by its General Manager, Public Relations, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, noted that these factors were known to pose obvious threat to aircraft operations.
While stressing that the advisory circular had become necessary, the statement quoted the Director-General, Capt. Muhtar Usman, as saying that the warning was issued based on the Seasonal Rainfall Prediction 2018 by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, which predicted March/April and May/June as the onset of the rainy season in the southern and northern parts of the country, respectively.
NCAA warned further that pilots, operators and air traffic controllers should take note of their responsibilities, which might include temporarily closing the airspace when hazardous weather conditions such as severe thunderstorms, squall lines, microburst or low-level wind shear were observed or forecast by NiMET.
“Flight crews, operators and air traffic controllers should also ensure adherence to aerodrome weather minima, while pilots should exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by NiMET.
“Pilots and flight crew members should obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NiMET aerodrome meteorological officers prior to flight operations,” NCAA warned.