By G9ija

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has warned pilots and airline operators of weather hazards across airports nationwide.

The regulatory body, in a weather Advisory Circular (AC) issued yesterday to stakeholders, demanded strict compliance with the rules guiding weather changes.

Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, stated that the objective of the circular was to bring pilots and operators up to date on the occurrence of thunderstorm over Nigerian airports since the onset of the rainy season in the country.

Statistics from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) indicated that most of the airports had recorded quite a number of thunderstorms between March and July 2020.

In July, NIMET data indicated the following number of thunderstorm occurrences: Abuja (23), Ikeja (8), Kano (24), Port Harcourt (11), Owerri (17) and Benin (11). In the same month, gustiness ranged between 22Kt and 42Kt at the listed airports.

Nuhu said: “By this circular, Air Traffic Controllers may temporarily close airspace when hazardous weather conditions such as severe thunderstorms, squall lines, microburst or low level wind-shear are observed or forecast by NIMET.

“Flight crews/operators and ATCs shall ensure adherence to aerodrome weather minima. Pilots shall exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by NIMET. They shall obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological offices prior to flight operations.

“The authority will expect strict compliance to this circular from all stakeholders and violation would be viewed seriously.”