NCAA, NiMet warn pilots, airlines over hazardous weather

 

 

Posted by Sade Williams

 

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has advised Pilots and Airline Operators to exercise caution over hazardous weather in dry season.

This warning was contained in an Advisory Circular (AC) with reference no AC: NCAA-AEROMET – 34 initiated by the Directorate of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards (DAAS) addressed to all Pilots and Airline Operators and signed by the Director General, Capt. Musa Nuhu dated 19 th December, 2022.

The Advisory circular is sequel to the Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) issued by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) which reported that cessation of rainfall and weather associated with Dry Season in Nigeria from late December 2022 to March/April 2023.

Hence, this AC is intended to alert pilots about nature of weather associated with
dry season in Nigeria ranging from light/moderate to severe dust haze and
sometimes early morning fog which can sometimes reduce the horizontal visibility
to below the aerodrome operating minima.

With the issuance of this circular, Advisory Circular AC: NCAA – AEROMET 33 is
accordingly cancelled.
Enumerated below are effects of this hazardous weather on flight operations:
a.) Air-to-ground visibility reduction due to haze dust or fog;

b.) Aerodrome visibility may fall below the prescribed operating minima and
in severe conditions, dust haze can blot out runways, markers and airfield
lightings over wide areas making visuals navigation extremely difficult or
impossible; and

c.) Flights are bound to be delayed, diverted or cancelled where terminal visibility falls below the prescribed aerodrome operating minima.

”In view of the above, all Pilots, Operators and Air Traffic Controllers are obliged to abide by these safety requirements:

i.) Closure of the airspace by Air Traffic Controllers 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 and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological Offices and Stations prior to flight operations and exercise maximum restraint whenever an adverse weather is observed; and iv.) Operators shall ensure that all necessary measures are put in place to cushion the effects of delay or cancellations on their passengers.”, the authority said on Sunday.

While the Authority urges all passengers to exercise patience and understanding during this period as their safety is of utmost importance, it urged stakeholders to ensure strict compliance to this Advisory Circular as violations would be viewed  seriously.

In another separate statement, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet has warned the public on the possibility of deterioration in  horizontal visibility as a result of thick dust haze propagated into the country from the source region in Niger.
The release from the Central Forecast Office (CFO) of the Agency indicates that “favourable conditions for  Dust-Haze propagations into the nation will worsen horizontal visibility.
Stations in Niger (Maine-Soroa, Goure, Maradi , N-guigmi, Diffa and 61091) and Chad (Ndjamena) have both persistently reported Dust-Haze with poor horizontal visibility. In the next few hours, strong winds at 800m will spread more dust into the country”.
”Dust-Haze with poor horizontal visibility. Strong winds at 800m is expected to transport the dust to the country, particularly the North and North-central regions, in the next few hours”,  it reads.
The release further disclosed that satellite images obtained indicates that In the next 24 hours, there are prospects of Thick Dust Haze (In poor horizontal visibility, less than1000m) over Katsina, Kano, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Borno and Adamawa; while other Northern and North central states are expected to report Moderate Dust Haze (visibility of 2–5km). This weather condition is expected to persist for the next 72hours.
The Day-Time Temperature (Max) over the country is expected to fall as a result of plume of dust.
”In view of this, members of the public are advised to take necessary precautions due to dust particles presently in suspension over the atmosphere. Also, Individuals with respiratory ailments are advised to protect themselves as the current weather condition is not good for their health.
Night-time cold temperatures should be expected so warm clothes are advised for little children.
Airline operators are advised to avail themselves of weather reports from NiMet for effective planning in their operations. NiMet will continue to monitor the weather and provide updates when necessary and wish all Nigerians a Merry Christmas and prosperous new year.”, the statement added.
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