Weather alert has been issued by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for airline operators at this time of the year.
This comes as the Harmattan dust haze starts in Nigeria.
NCAA General Manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye said the alert was important to aircraft particularly in areas of challenging terrains due to low visibility.
Adurogboye further said that the seasonal rainfall prediction issued by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), shows that this season would likely be long and severe with dust hazes in the months ahead.
This according to him was contained in a Advisory circular AC: NCAA- AEROMET-24 is intended to alert pilots of the hazards associated with dust haze which is a dry and dusty wind that blows Southwards from the Sahara across Nigeria during the months of November to March.
“In addition, aerodrome visibility might fall below the prescribed minima and in severe conditions, dust haze can blot out runways, the markers and airfield lights over wide areas.”
According to him, this makes visual navigation extremely difficult or impossible.“Resultantly, where visibility falls below the prescribed weather minima, flight operations are expected to be delayed, diverted or cancelled outright.
“Hence, all pilots are obliged to exercise maximum restraint especially when severe weather condition is observed or reported by NIMET,” he said.
The NCAA spokesperson advised pilots to obtain adequate departure, en route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET prior to flight operations at all the airports.
He also urged Flight Crews/ Operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) to ensure adherence to aerodrome operating minima.
“Operators are therefore advised to ensure necessary measures are put in place to manage the effects of flight delays or cancellations on their passengers.