Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has advised Pilots and airline operators to exercise extreme caution during flight operations in recognition of the outset of the rainy season, with its attendant thunderstorms.
The General Manager, NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, gave the advice in a statement in Lagos on Thursday.
It said the advent of the rainy season, which has been torrential and prevalent in the Southern and Northern parts of the country, was usually accompanied by severe thunderstorms, which could impact the safety of flight operations.
“There are many other hazardous weather occurrences such as severe turbulence, microburst or low level wind-shear and occasionally, hail events are bound to affect air navigation,’’ the statement said.
It said NCAA had therefore directed all pilots to recourse to utmost restraint whenever adverse weather was observed or forecast by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET).
According to the statement, pilots and flight crews shall mandatorily obtain adequate en route and destination weather information and briefing from NiMET Aerodrome Meteorological offices before flight operations.
It said that in the same vein, Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) and Flight Crews/Operators should ensure total compliance with all aerodrome operating minima.
The statement said it was quite important for all intending air travellers and airline operators to note that in line with Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs), ATC might temporarily close airspace during inclement weather conditions.
“These are adverse weather conditions such as severe thunderstorms, squall lines microburst or low level wind-shear, as observed or forecast by NiMET.
“It will be recalled that a similar weather alert was issued by the authority in March at the advent of the rainy season. It was circulated to the entire industry, stating ahead of time what to expect and recommended precautionary measures.”
The statement added that NCAA was expecting strict adherence to the directive to ensure safety of air transportation in the country.