The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Wednesday, cautioned pilots, airline operators and Air Traffic Controllers on the danger associated with severe thunderstorms.
A statement signed by Sam Adurogboye, NCAA spokesperson, said the caution is based on the year 2017 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction, SRP, by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet.
These hazards, according to the statement, include severe turbulence, microburst, low level wind shears and other events that could affect flight operations.
The statement noted that rainy season is predicted to commence in March/April and May/June 2017 in the Southern and Northern parts of Nigeria, respectively.
“Therefore, this weather alert is necessitated by the fact that rainy season, at onset, is usually accompanied with severe thunderstorms and many other hazardous weather phenomena”, Mr. Adurogboye said.
The series of responsibilities for pilots, operators and air traffic controllers, according to the statement, shows the latter may temporarily close airspace when hazardous weather conditions such as severe thunderstorms, squall lines microburst or low level wind-shear are observed or forecast.
Similarly, flight crews or operators and Athe controllers should ensure adherence to aerodrome weather, while pilots are expected to exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed.
“Pilots/Flight Crew Members shall obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NiMet Aerodrome Meteorological Offices prior to flight operations,” the statement stated.
The NCAA expects strict compliance from pilots and other concerned stakeholders, Mr. Adurogboye added.