NIGERIAN Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued a weather alert cautioning Pilots, Airline Operators and Air Traffic Controllers on the inherent danger associated with severe thunderstorms including severe turbulence, microburst, low-level wind shears and hail events that could affect the safety of flight operations.
In a statement signed by the General Manager Public Relations, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, this weather alert is necessitated by the fact that rainy season, at onset, is usually accompanied with severe thunderstorms and many other hazardous weather phenomena.
The Advisory Circular (AC) is based on the year 2017 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet). It indicates that rainy season is predicted to commence in March/April and May/June 2017 in the Southern and Northern parts of Nigeria respectively.
Enumerated below therefore, are series of responsibilities for Pilot, Operators and Air Traffic Controllers.
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;
Flight Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) shall ensure adherence to aerodrome weather minima;
Pilots shall exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast; Pilots/Flight Crew Members shall obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NiMet Aerodrome Meteorological Offices prior to flight operations.
From the foregoing, the regulatory authority will expect strict compliance.