Posted by News Express | 26 December 2022 | 232 times
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) have warned aircraft pilots and airline owners on the effects of adverse weather on flight operations.
The two Federal agencies cautioned that prevailing deterioration in horizontal visibility would cause flight delays and cancellation.
They also warned aircraft pilots, airline operators and air traffic controllers to avail themselves of weather reports for effective flight planning.
An advisory circular initiated by the Directorate of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards and signed by the NCAA Director General, Captain Musa Nuhu, urged aircraft pilots and airline operators to adjust flights where terminal visibility falls below the prescribed aerodrome operating minima.
Listing the effects of hazardous weather on flight operations to include air-to-ground visibility reduction, the advisory said such phenomenon, occasioned by haze dust or fog, would impact aerodrome visibility falling below the prescribed minima.
Such severe weather conditions triggered by dust haze, it said, could blot out runways, markings and airfield lighting over wide areas to make visual navigation extremely difficult or even impossible.
According to the advisory, in such instances, flights are bound to be delayed, diverted or cancelled.
The NCAA said pilots, operators and air traffic controllers are obliged to abide by these safety requirements from closure of the airspace by Air Traffic Controllers when any of these conditions is observed or forecast by NiMet.
The Federal agency called for strict adherence to published aerodrome weather minima by Flight Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC).
It said: “Pilots/Flight Crew Members shall henceforth obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NiMet Aerodrome Meteorological Offices and Stations prior to flight operations and exercise maximum restraint whenever an adverse weather is observed.”
“Operators shall ensure that all necessary measures are put in place to cushion the effects of delay or cancellations on their passengers.”
While the NCAA urged passengers to exercise patience and understanding during this period as their safety is of utmost importance, it advised stakeholders to ensure strict compliance with the advisory as violations would be viewed seriously.
Also, NiMet cautioned on reduction in visibility as a result of thick dust haze propagated into Nigeria from Niger Republic.
A statement by the agency’s General Manager for Public Relations, Muntari Yusuf Ibrahim, advised airline operators to avail themselves of weather reports from its office for flight planning and related activities.
The agency said its stations in Niger (Maine-Soroa, Goure, Maradi, N-guigmi, Diffa and 61091) and Chad (Ndjamena) have persistently reported dust-haze with poor horizontal visibility.
“In the next few hours, strong winds at 800 metres will spread more dust into the country. Strong winds at 800 metres are expected to transport the dust to the country, particularly the North and Northcentral regions, in the next few hours,” the advisory said.
It added that satellite images obtained showed that in the next 24 hours, there are prospects of thick dust haze (in poor horizontal visibility, less than 1,000 metres) over Katsina, Kano, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Borno and Adamawa; while other Northern and North central states are expected to report moderate dust-haze (visibility of two to five kilometres). This weather condition is expected to persist for the next 72 hours.
The day-Time temperature (max) over the country is expected to fall as a result of a plume of dust.
The agency advised members of the public to take necessary precautions due to dust particles presently in suspension over the atmosphere.
Also, individuals with respiratory ailments are advised to protect themselves as the current weather condition is not good for their health.
Night-time cold temperatures should be expected. So, warm clothes are advised for children. (The Nation)
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