Posted by Sade Williams
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued weather Advisory Circular to the industry as it demands strict compliance.
The objective of this, according to the NCAA, is to bring pilots and operators up to date on the occurrence of thunderstorm phenomenon over Nigerian airports since the onset of rainy season in the country.
According to Captain Musa Nuhu, the director general of the NCAA, statistics from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) so far indicate that most of the airports have recorded quite a number of thunderstorms between March and July 2020.
In the month of July 2020, NIMET data indicate the following number of thunderstorm occurrence: Abuja (23), Ikeja (8), Kano (24), Port Harcourt (11), Owerri (17) and Benin (11). In the same month, gustiness range between 22Kt and 42Kt at the listed airports.
In the circular signed by Capt. Nuhu, the purpose of this is to bring forth the evolving weather information which could adversely affect safe and efficient flight operations post Covid-19 pandemic.
“Severe thunderstorms and many other hazardous weather phenomena such as severe turbulence, microburst, low level wind shear and hail events that could affect the safety of flight operations are possible during rainy season; therefore, all stakeholders are expected to perform their roles as stated below in order to ensure safety of flight operations, the AC said.
” By this circular, Air Traffic controllers may temporarily close airspace when hazardous weather conditions such as severe thunderstorms squall lines microburst or low level wind-shear are observed or forecast by NIMET. Flight Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) shall ensure adherence to aerodrome weather minima;
“Pilots shall exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by NIMET; Pilot / Flight Crew Members shall obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological offices prior to flight operations” , it said.
The Authority said it expects strict compliance to this circular from all stakeholders, adding that violation would be viewed seriously.