The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has warned pilots and aviation stakeholders to abide by weather advisory circular as non compliance shall attract maximum sanction.
The Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, in a memo to the airlines, also made available to the media said the warning was in line with an earlier Advisory Circular (AC), with reference no AC: NCAA-AEROMET – 31, addressed to all pilots and airline operators over weather vicissitudes.
The memo read in part. “This weather advisory circular is necessary to bring forth the evolving weather information associated with the commencement of the rainy season and the effects on safety and efficiency of flight operations; and to elicit the cooperation of stakeholders to ensure safe air transport at all times”.
Pilots, operators, and Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) were directed to take on a series of responsibilities. These include: Air Traffic Controllers may temporarily close the airspace when any of the conditions forecast by NIMET is observed. Flight Crews/Operators and ATCs are to ensure adherence to published aerodrome weather minima.
Pilots are to exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by NIMET; and Pilots/Flight Crew members are to obtain adequate departure, en-route, and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological Offices prior to flight operations.
“While the Authority enjoins all passengers to exercise patience and understanding during this period of heavy downpour, strict compliance to this warning is expected from all stakeholders as maximum sanction shall be imposed for non-compliance,”
The DG noted that the warning was imperative, given the latest Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) released by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) for the year 2021, suggesting more bad weather in the days ahead.
NIMET had 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.