Harmattan: NCAA alerts on airspace closure if inclement weather persists

The Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, has alerted pilots and airline operators that the Nigerian airspace will be closed to flight operations if weather forecast by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency NiMET will hamper flight safety.

He says, the alert became necessary due to NiMET forecast of moderate to severe dust haze, early morning fog especially along the coastal areas, which in some instances can reduce horizontal visibility to less than 200 meters during the period of November 2021 to March 2022.

In an advisory circular to all airline operators in Nigeria, the NCAA boss says, Pilots, Flight Crew Members should obtain adequate departure-route and destination weather information and briefing from NiMet Aerodrome Methodologist offices and station prior to flight operations and excise maximum restraint whenever an adverse weather is observed.

According to him, the Air Traffic Control, ATC, will ensure that necessary measures are put in place to cushion the effects of flight delay or cancellations on their passengers.

He states that, due to Air-to-ground visibility reduction due to dust haze or fog;i flights are bound to be delayed, diverted, or cancelled where terminal visibility falls below the prescribed aerodrome operating minima.

“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 visual navigation  extremely difficult  or impossible”

Captain Nuhu urges, Strict adherence to published aerodrome weather minima by Flight Crews, Operators and Air Traffic Controllers.

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