…seeks strict compliance
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued weather Advisory Circular (AC) to the Industry stressing that strict compliance is demanded.
The Authority in press statement said the AC is aimed at bringing pilots and operators up to date on the occurrence of thunderstorm phenomenon over Nigerian airports since the onset of rainy season in the Country.
It disclosed that the statistics from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) so far indicated that most of the airports have recorded quite a number of thunderstorms between March and July 2020. “In the month of July 2020, NIMET data indicate the following number of thunderstorm occurrence: Abuja (23), Ikeja (8), Kano (24), Port Harcourt (11), Owerri (17) and Benin (11). In the same month, gustiness range between 22Kt and 42Kt at the listed airports.
“In the circular signed by NCAA Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Musa Nuhu, the purpose of this AC is to bring forth the evolving weather information which could adversely affect safe and efficient flight operations post COVID-19 pandemic.
“Severe thunderstorms and many other hazardous weather phenomena such as severe turbulence, microburst, low level wind shear and hail events that could affect the safety of flight operations are possible during rainy season; therefore, all stakeholders are expected to perform their roles as stated below in order to ensure safety of flight operations, the AC said,” the statement read in part.
It explained that the circular implied that air traffic controllers may temporarily close airspace when hazardous weather conditions such as severe thunderstorms squall lines microburst or low level wind-shear are observed or forecast by NIMET.
The statement also said that flight Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers shall ensure adherence to aerodrome weather minima.
It further said that pilots shall exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by NIMET, adding that pilot / flight crew members shall obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological offices prior to flight operations.
“The Authority will expect strict compliance to this circular from all stakeholders and violation would be viewed seriously.”