Rainy Season: NCAA cautions pilots over severe weather

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has cautioned all pilots over severe thunderstorms and other hazardous weather which hamper flight operations, especially now that rain is here.

According to the regulatory body, “this warning is a follow up to the Advisory Circular (AC) with reference no AC: NCAA-AEROMET – 31 addressed to all Pilots and Airline Operators.

The circular is coming on the advent of the Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) released by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) for the year 2021.

NIMET has 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.

The weather advisory circular, the NCAA said was “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 the following stakeholders to ensure safe air transport at all times.

“Therefore, Pilots, Operators and Air Traffic Controllers Pilots are directed to observe series of responsibilities enumerated below forthwith: Air Traffic Controllers may temporarily close the airspace when any of the conditions in (1) are observed or forecast by NIMET; Flight Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) to ensure adherence to published aerodrome weather minima.

“Pilots to exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by NIMET; and Pilots/Flight Crew members to obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological Offices prior to flight operations.”

While the Authority enjoined all passengers to exercise patience and understanding during this period of heavy downpour, NCAA declared that strict compliance to this warning was expected from all stakeholders as maximum sanction shall be imposed for non-compliance.

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