The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has advised pilots and all airline operators to exercise extreme caution during the dry season.
This warning was issued by NCAA in an Advisory Circular, AC, signed by the Director General, Capt. Musa Nuhu, on December 19, 2022, with reference number AC: NCAA-AEROMET – 34, initiated by the Directorate of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards, DAAS, and addressed to Pilots and all Airline Operators.
Following the Seasonal Climate Prediction, SCP, that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET, predicted a cessation of rainfall and weather associated with the dry season in Nigeria from late December 2022 to March/April 2023, NCAA warned pilots about the nature of weather associated with the dry season in the country, ranging from light/moderate to severe dust haze and early morning fog, which can sometimes reduce horizontal visibility to below the aerodrome operating altitude.
According to the agency, the issuance of this circular cancels Advisory Circular AC: NCAA – AEROMET 33.
The following are the effects of this hazardous weather on flight operations:
a.) Reduced air-to-ground visibility due to haze, fog, or dust.
b.) Aerodrome visibility may fall below the prescribed operating minimums, and in severe conditions, dust haze can obscure runways, markers, and airfield lighting over large areas, making visual navigation difficult or impossible.
c.) When terminal visibility falls below the prescribed aerodrome operating minima, flights are bound to be delayed, diverted, or cancelled.
In light of the foregoing, the NCAA required Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers, and Operators to follow these safety requirements.
i.) Closure of the airspace by the Air Traffic Controller if any of the conditions listed in (3) are observed or forecast by NIMET.
Flight Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers ATC must strictly adhere to published aerodrome weather minima.
iii.) Prior to flight operations, pilots/flight crew members must obtain adequate departure, en-route destination weather information, and briefing from the NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological Office and Stations, and they must exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed.
iv.) Operators must take the necessary precautions to mitigate the impact of delays and cancellations on their passengers.
The aviation authority urged all passengers to be patient and understanding during this time because their safety is of the utmost importance.
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