• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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NCAA warns air travellers of riskier weather during rainy season

NCAA warns air travellers of riskier weather during rainy season

By Precious Mark

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is urging caution as the rainy season arrives, highlighting the dangers of severe weather conditions for air travel.

A recent letter from Chris Najomo, the NCAA Director General, emphasided the increased risk of thunderstorms, microbursts, low-level wind shear, and heavy rain during this period.

These weather phenomena can significantly impact flight safety, prompting the NCAA to call for vigilance from all stakeholders in the aviation industry.

The rainy season begins in March in the south and along the coastal zone, April/May in the central parts of Nigeria, and June/July in the northern parts of the country.

To ensure passenger safety, the NCAA has outlined specific pre-flight actions and delineated the responsibilities of various stakeholders in the aviation industry.

“Responsibility of 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.”

“Responsibility of Pilot, Operators: Flight Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) shall ensure adherence to aerodrome weather minima; Pilots shall exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by NiMet; Pilots/Flight Crew Members shall obtain adequate departure; en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NiMet Aerodrome Meteorological Offices and Stations prior to flight operations; Submit Pilot Weather Reports (PIREP) to any ATC facility or Flight Service when en route or by telephone after landing or by electronic submission relevant in-flight information regarding en-route conditions including turbulence, icing, visibility, temperature, and winds aloft that have the potential to cause accidents and loss of life”.

“Responsibilities of Air Navigation Service Providers: NiMet to provide flight crew briefings including but not limited to weather observations and forecasts; NAMA to provide aeronautical information including NOTAMs among others”.

The NCAA is placing responsibility on airlines as well. They must guarantee their pilots receive proper training to effectively manage situations arising from severe weather.

Passengers are encouraged to exercise patience and understanding during the rainy season, as flight delays and cancellations may occur due to prioritizing safety.

The NCAA emphasizes that strict adherence to safety regulations is mandatory, with potential consequences for non-compliance.