The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has advised Pilots and Airline Operators to exercise caution over hazardous weather in dry season.
This warning is contained in an Advisory Circular initiated by the Directorate of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards (DAAS) addressed to all Pilots and Airline Operators and signed by the Director General, Civil Aviation, DGCA Capt. Musa Nuhu.
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.
According to the NCAA, the advisory Circular 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.
It listed the effects of this hazardous weather on flight operations to include; Air-to-ground visibility reduction due to haze dust or fog, blot out of runways, markers and airfield lightings over wide areas making visuals navigation extremely difficult or impossible due to poor visibility and delay, diversion or cancellation of flights.
It therefore urged all Pilots, Operators and Air Traffic Controllers to abide by safety requirements to close the airspace if any of these conditions are observed or forecast by NIMET; strict adherence to published aerodrome weather minima by Flight Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC).
Others are that, 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.
“Operators shall ensure that all necessary measures are put in place to cushion the effects of delay or cancellations on their passengers”.
The Authority also urged all passengers to exercise patience and understanding during this period as their safety is of utmost importance and stakeholders should ensure strict compliance to this Advisory Circular as violations would be viewed seriously.