NCAA warns airlines and pilots about dangerous weather during the dry season

Pilots and all airline operators have been cautioned by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, to use caution during this dry season due to severe weather conditions.

The NCAA issued this warning in an Advisory Circular, AC, signed by the Director General, Capt. Musa Nuhu, dated December 19, 2022, with reference number AC: NCAA-AEROMET – 34, sent to pilots and all airline operators by the Directorate of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards, DAAS.

Following the Seasonal Climate Prediction, SCP, that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET, made regarding the cessation of rainfall and weather associated with the dry season in Nigeria from late December 2022 to March/April 2023, NCAA alerted pilots about the nature of weather associated with the dry season in the country, ranging from light/moderate to severe dust haze and occasionally early morning fog that can sometimes reduce the horizontal visibility to below the aerodrome operating.

The agency claims that Advisory Circular AC: NCAA – AEROMET 33 is thereafter revoked with the release of this circular.

The impact of this severe weather on air operations is listed below:

Haze, fog, and dust reduce air-to-ground visibility.

b.) Aerodrome visibility may be below the recommended operating minimums, and in bad weather, dust haze can obscure extensive stretches of runways, markers, and airfield illumination, making visual navigating exceedingly challenging or impossible.

When terminal visibility is less than the required aerodrome operating minimum, flights must be delayed, redirected, or cancelled.

Due to the aforementioned, NCAA mandated that Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers, and Operators follow these safety guidelines.

i.) When any of these conditions in (3) are detected or predicted by NIMET, the airspace will be closed by the air traffic controller.

ii.) Strict adherence by Flight Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers ATC to stated airport weather minima.

iii.) Before beginning flight operations, pilots and other flight crew members must get sufficient weather briefings and information from NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological Office and Stations. They must also use the greatest amount of restraint whenever hazardous weather is present.

iv.) Operators must make sure that the appropriate safeguards are in place to lessen the impact of cancellations and delays on their passengers.

Because everyone’s safety is of the utmost importance, the aviation authorities urged all passengers to be patient and understanding during the situation.

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