Lagos – The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday issued a weather hazard alert to all pilots and airline operators, urging them to be wary of danger associated with the rainy season in flight operations.
The apex regulatory body said the warning was important in lieu of the outset of the rainy season that is usually accompanied with severe thunderstorm and many other hazardous weather phenomena such as turbulence, microburst, low-level wind shear and hail events. The phenomena are known to pose threat to aircraft operations.
General Manager, Public Relations of the NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, said the advisory circular issued to pilots and operators was based on the 2018 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) released by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET).
NIMET has predicted March/April and May/June 2018 as the onset of rainy season in the Southern and Northern parts of Nigeria respectively.Pilots, operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) are, therefore, urged to take note of their various responsibilities.
According to the NCAA, “The Air Traffic Controllers may temporarily close airspace when hazardous weather conditions such as severe thunderstorms, squall lines, microburst or low-level wind shear are observed or forecast by NIMET.
“Pilots/flight crew members shall obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological officer prior to flight operations.
“Operators are, therefore, advised to ensure necessary measures are put in place to manage effects of flight delays or cancellations on their passengers. All stakeholders are required to ensure strict compliance with this circular as violations would be viewed seriously,” the circular read in part.
Meanwhile, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has alerted residents of South-East Nigeria of possible flood disaster in some parts of the region as the rains set it.
It therefore, advised them not to hesitate in alerting relevant agencies of such natural disaster when noticed for necessary action.South East Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr. Walson Ibarakumo Brandon,
who gave the warning yesterday in Enugu, disclosed that 14 local councils across Enugu, Ebonyi and Anambra states are most likely to be affected by the flood disaster, and advised on the need for clearance of drainages and waterways to reduce the impact or eliminate the disaster.
According to him, his agency recently met with sister agencies including NIMET and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, among other establishments to map out strategies on how to mitigate the disaster and embark on massive public enlightenment campaigns.
Brando said: “From the recent annual flood outlook, in Enugu State, we have Enugu South, Enugu East and Oji River councils. These three councils that are characterized as highly probable high-risk areas under the annual flood outlook released by NIMET.
“In Ebonyi, we have Afikpo North, Ikwo, Ezza South, Ohaukwu and Ebonyi councils. In Anambra, we have Orumba North, Awka South, Anaocha, Oyi,
Dunukofia and Njikoka councils. So when we carry out our sensitization we are going to focus on those highlighted areas.
“I will implore that those communities, they should not fall back, they should not just wait for government; local, state or Federal Government, they should be on the alert and contact the appropriate agencies whenever incidences that are beyond their coping capability come up,” he said.
He added that aside from natural disasters like flooding, fire, landslide and building collapses, the agency had been facing issues of internally displaced persons arising from communal crises as well and Fulani herdsmen clash with farmers.