The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has called on all pilots and airline operators to exercise extreme caution during flight operations on rainy days given the high probability of running into thunderstorms and inclement weather that could crash an aircraft.
It is the second warning coming from the NCAA given the near-crash of an Air Peace aircraft at the Port Harcourt airport and the mis-approach and aborted landing of an Ethiopian Airlines at the Lagos International Airport.
“The rainy season which is torrential is usually accompanied by severe thunderstorms which could impact the safety of flight operations,” the NCAA said in a statement by Sam Adurogboye, it’s spokesman.
“But there are many other hazardous weather occurrences such as severe turbulence, microburst or low level wind-shear and occasionally hail events are bound to affect air navigation. We therefore direct all pilots to recourse to utmost restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET),” the NCAA said.
According to the NCAA, pilots and flight crews shall mandatorily obtain adequate, en route and destination weather information and briefing from NiMET Aerodrome Meteorological offices before flight operations.
In the same vein, Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) and Flight crews/operators shall ensure total compliance with all aerodromes operating minimally.
NCAA said “it is quite important for all intending air travellers and airline operators to note that in line with Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) may temporarily close airspace during inclement weather conditions.
“These are adverse weather conditions such as severe thunderstorms, squall lines microburst or low-level wind-shear as observed or forecast by NiMET.
“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority expects strict adherence to this directive to ensure the safety of air transportation in Nigeria,” Adurogboye added.