The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued an advisory circular to caution pilots, airline operators and others against severe harmattan haze/fog phenomenon prevalent in Nigerian airports.
NCAA explained that the adverse weather condition will subsist from October in the far North, November in the North-central and December in the southern part of the country.
In addition, early morning fog may be experienced in the months ahead, especially along the coastal areas in the south.
The Director-General, NCAA, Captain, Musa Nuhu, who signed the circular, said the advisory was necessary to bring forth the evolving weather information to the attention of all stakeholders who need to perform their roles.
To ensure safe and efficient flight operations during the period, pilots, operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) are directed to observe a series of responsibilities, which include that crew/operators and ATC shall be conversant with each aerodrome weather minima and ensure strict adherence to the requirements.
This means that each airport has its own weather minima different from others and air traffic controllers must have knowledge of this.
“Air traffic controllers might temporarily close airspace when hazardous weather conditions such as heavy fog or severe dust haze reducing the visibility to below airport operating minimal are observed or forecasted by Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET).
“Pilots/flight crewmembers shall obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET aerodrome offices prior to flight operations,” the circular said.
NCAA also directed the pilots to exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by NIMET and brief passengers accordingly.
“The travelling public is, however, urged to exercise restraint and show understanding in this Yuletide month as flights may be delayed or cancelled on an account of weather situations.
“From the foregoing, the regulatory authority will expect strict compliance with this advisory circular as violation would be viewed seriously,” the agency said.