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Safety: NCAA cautions airlines, pilots against likely adverse weather, flight delays

*The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority notifies stakeholders that air travellers may face flight delays, cancellations over weather conditions in the country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has stated that absence of rain October 2021 in the North and late November/December in the South could cause severe dust haze and early morning fog, especially along the coastal areas of the country.

The aviation regulatory agency, therefore, has urged pilots and airline operators to delay, cancel or divert flights whenever they are threatened with visibility.

ConsumerConnect gathered the advisory was contained in the NCAA Weather Advisory Circular dated November 29, 2021, signed by Musa Nuhu, Director-General of NCAA, and circulated to all players in the Nigerian aviation industry.

The circular, which drew weather forecast from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), stated that absence of rain in October in the North and late November/December in the South could cause severe dust haze and early morning fog, especially along the coastal areas.

According to the country’s aviation regulator, this instance could reduce horizontal visibility to less than 200 meters during the period of November 2021 to March 2022.

The visibility reduction could also affect runways, markers and airfield lightings, it explained in the statement

The NCAA said: “Aerodrome visibility may fall below the prescribed operating minimal and in severe conditions, dust haze can blot out runways, markers and airfield lightings over wide areas making visual navigation extremely difficult or impossible;

“And flights are bound to be delayed, diverted, or cancelled where terminal visibility falls below the prescribed aerodrome operating minima.”

The statement, therefore, directed air-traffic controllers to close airspace when needed as well as adhere to published weather advisories.

Pilots and flight crew members are equally directed to exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather was observed while urging operators to cushion the effects of flight delays or cancellations on their passengers.

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