The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued a weather advisory circular to the various airlines and demanded strict compliance from them.
Its Director-General, Capt. Musa Nuhu , issued the circular on Tuesday in Lagos.
He said that the objective of the advisory circular was to bring pilots and operators up-to-date on the occurrence of thunderstorm phenomenon over Nigerian airports since the outset of the rainy season in the country.
Nuhu said that statistics from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) so far indicated that most of the airports recorded quite a number of thunderstorms between March and July.
“In the month of July 2020, NIMET data indicated the following number of thunderstorm occurrence: Abuja (23), Ikeja (8), Kano (24), Port Harcourt (11), Owerri (17) and Benin (11).
”In the same month, wind gustiness ranged from between 22Kt and 42Kt at the listed airports.
“The purpose of this advisory circular is to bring forth the evolving weather information which could adversely affect safe and efficient flight operations post COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Nuhu said that 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 were possible during the rainy season.
He,therefore, said that all stakeholders were expected to perform their roles as stated in the circular in order to ensure safety of flight operations.
“By this circular, 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.
“Flight crews/operators and Air Traffic Controllers shall ensure adherence to aerodrome weather minima.
“Pilots shall exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by NIMET.
“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,” he said.
Nuhu said the authority would expect strict compliance to the circular from all stakeholders and that violation would be viewed seriously.