Louis Ibah and Uche Usim, Abuja
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), yesterday, said the safety of airline operations in the country could be compromised in the months of April, May and June if pilots and airline owners fail to adhere strictly to daily weather forecasts from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET).
Director General/CEO of NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, in warning pilots and airline operators, said the agency had received forecast from NIMET that the commencement of rainy season in the southern and northern parts of Nigeria lasting April till June, “will be accompanied with turbulence in addition to microburst, low level wind share and sometimes events that could affect the safety of flight operations.
“With this information, it is expected that Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs), may temporarily close the airspace when there are adverse weather conditions,” Usman said.
“Consequently, flight crews/operators and ATCs shall ensure strict adherence to airport operating minima in line with standard and recommend practices. All pilots are therefore obliged to exercise maximum restraint whenever severe weather condition is observed or forecast by NIMET,” Usman added.
This warning was contained in an Advisory Circular (AC) with reference no AC: NCAA-AEROMET – 27 addressed to all pilots and airline operators signed by the Director General, Capt. Muhtar Usman.
Usman said to ensure safe flight operations, pilots/flight crew members should obtain adequate departure, en route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological Offices situated in all the airports prior to flight operations.
“Airline operators are therefore required to play a key role in ensuring adequate measures are put in place to lessen the effects of the attendant flight delays and cancellations on their passengers as occasioned by this severe weather conditions in accordance with Part 19 of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations 2015,” Usman said.
“While the NCAA urges all passengers to exercise patience and understanding during this period as their safety is of utmost importance, it also enjoined all stakeholders to ensure strict compliance with safety regulations as violations would be viewed seriously,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), have pledged to deepen their collaboration to ensure steady and seamless supply of petroleum products across the country.