The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has called for passengers understanding over the prevailing flight delays and cancellations experienced in airports across the country due to the adverse weather situation.
According to the Authority, the prevailing inclement weather is a global experience at the moment which had warranted cancellation of inbound international flights alike; therefore, not peculiar to Nigeria.
This appeal was contained in a release signed by Mr Sam Adurogboye General manager public affairs of NCAA
Earlier, the Authority had urged pilots, operators and other stakeholders to exercise restraints over harmattan dust haze and safety approach to adopt.
The Regulatory Agency issued an Advisory Circular (AC): NCAA-AEROMET-28 dated 12th November 2019 alerting pilots of the hazards associated with dust haze. It is dry and dusty wind that blows south from the Sahara across Nigeria which is expected to persist till March 2020.
As issued by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency in its Seasonal Rainfall Prediction Bulletin-2019, the cessation of the rainy season was predicted from mid-October (in the Northern part) to early December 2019 (in the Southern part).
It direcred6Pilots/operators to note the following hazards and operational problems forthwith in the interest of safety cautioning that Air-to-ground visibility may be considerably reduced due to dust haze;
That Aerodrome visibility may fall below the prescribed operating minima 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
NCAA further urged Pilots to exercise maximum restraint when severe weather condition was observed or forecast by Nimet; Flight Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) are expected to ensure adherence to aerodrome weather minima while all Pilots shall obtain adequate departure, en-route, destination and alternate aerodromes weather information and briefing from the aerodrome meteorological office prior to flight operations.
The regulatory body called on operators to ensure that necessary measures were put in place to cushion the effects of flight delays or cancellations on their passengers.
While Passengers must be informed of any development concerning their flights well ahead of time by the Airlines, the regulatory authority stressed that it will expect strictly compliance from all stakeholders regarding the Circular as violation will be seriously viewed.