By Adekunle Williams and Solomon Asowata
Lagos – The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has cautioned pilots, airline operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) to comply with directives on the recent inherent danger associated with severe thunderstorms in the country.
The NCAA gave the caution in Lagos on Wednesday in a statement signed by its General Manager, Public Relations, Mr Sam Adurogboye in Lagos.
Adurogboye said that the weather hazards include severe turbulence, microburst, low level wind shears and hail events that could affect the safety of flight operations.
“Therefore, this weather alert is necessitated by the fact that raining season, at onset, is usually accompanied with severe thunderstorms and many other hazardous weather phenomena,” he said.
Adurogboye noted that NCAA’s cautionary statement was in line with the Advisory Circular (AC) was based on the 2017 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet).
He further explained that the prediction by NiMET indicated that the raining season was expected to begin in March/April and May/June 2017 in the Southern and Northern parts of Nigeria.
According to him, pilots, operators and ATCs therefore have series of responsibility toward enhancing safety.
“ATCs may temporarily close airspace when hazardous weather conditions such as severe thunderstorms, squall lines microburst or low level wind-shear are observed or forecast.
“Flight crews/operators and ATCs shall ensure adherence to aerodrome weather minima while pilots shall exercise maximum restraint, whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast.
“Pilots and flight crew members shall obtain adequate departure, enroute and destination weather information and briefing from NiMet Aerodrome Meteorological Offices prior to flight operations”