Pilots have been advised by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), to be mindful of severe thunderstorms and other hazardous weather, which hamper flight operations as the rainy season sets in.
The aviation sector regular stated that the warning was a follow-up to the Advisory Circular (AC) with reference no AC: NCAA-AEROMET – 31 which was issued to all 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,” NCAA added.
NIMET had forecasted March as the period in which rainfall begins in the Southern states, it also predicted that April/June 2021 would mark the commencement of the rainy season in Central and Northern states.
“Consequently, this weather advisory circular is necessary to bring forth the evolving weather information associated with the 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,” NCAA said.
It directed pilots, operators and air traffic controllers to ensure adherence to a series of responsibilities.
The agency stated that air traffic controllers may temporarily shut the airspace should any of the severe conditions arise or get forecasted by NIMET.
NCAA also directed that pilots/flight crew members must obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological Offices prior to flight operations.
“While the authority enjoins all passengers to exercise patience and understanding during this period of heavy downpour, strict compliance to this warning is expected from all stakeholders as maximum sanction shall be imposed for non-compliance,” NCAA stated.