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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has cautioned all pilots in the country over severe thunderstorms and other hazardous weather conditions which hamper flight operations, especially during the rainy season.
According to the agency, the warning is a follow-up to the Advisory Circular addressed to all Pilots and Airline Operators and signed by the Director-General of NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu.
The circular signed on Wednesday by the DG of the agency is coming on the advent of the Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) released by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) for the year 2021.
NIMET has predicted early/late March as the commencement of the rainy season in the Southern states while late April/June 2021 is the commencement of the rainy season in the Central and Northern parts of Nigeria.
Consequently, the weather advisory circular is necessary to bring forth the evolving weather information associated with the commencement of the rainy season and the effects on the safety and efficiency of flight operations; and to elicit the cooperation of the following stakeholders to ensure safe air transportation at all times.
“Therefore, Pilots, Operators, and Air Traffic Controllers Pilots are directed to observe series of responsibilities enumerated below forthwith: Air Traffic Controllers may temporarily close the airspace when any of the conditions in (1) are observed or forecast by NIMET; Flight Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) to ensure adherence to published aerodrome weather minima; Pilots to exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by NIMET; and Pilots/Flight Crew members to obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological Offices prior to flight operations,” the circular read in part.
The Authority, therefore, enjoins all passengers to exercise patience and understanding during this period of heavy downpour and observe strict compliance.