The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued weather alert and cautioned airline operators and air traffic controllers on the inherent danger associated with severe thunderstorms, which accompany early rainfalls.
These hazards include severe turbulence, microbursts, low-level wind shears and hail storms that could affect the safety of flights and urged pilots to abide by the rules and also strictly follow weather reports.
NCAA said the weather alert was necessitated by the fact that the rainy season at the outset is usually accompanied by severe thunderstorms and many other hazardous weather phenomena.
â€œThe Advisory Circular (AC) is based on the year 2017 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet).
â€œIt indicates that rainy season is predicted to commence in March/April and May/June 2017 in the Southern and Northern parts of Nigeria respectively,â€ the statement from the agency, signed by its spokesman, Sam Adurogboye said.
During such situations, NCAA said Air Traffic Controllers might temporarily close the airspace when hazardous weather conditions such as severe thunderstorms, squall lines microbursts or low-level wind shear are observed or forecast.
â€œFlight 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; 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,â€ NCAA said, stressed that it expected strict compliance from pilots and operators.