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NiMET issues weather advisory as dry season approaches

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NiMET issues weather advisory as dry season approaches

As the dry season approaches, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has advised pilots and airline operators to exercise caution regarding hazardous weather conditions that may occur.

The warning came in the form of a release by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) on weather alerting the public of possible poor visibility due to observed dust haze emanating from the source region.

NiMet, through its General Manager of Public Relations, Muntari Yusuf Ibrahim, had earlier issued an advisory on the matter, stating that winds over 10m and 925hPha were favourable for dust haze propagation across the northern parts of the country.

NiMet said, “Winds over 10m and 925hPha are favourable for Dust-Haze propagations into the Northern parts of the country. Stations in the source region, Niger (Goure, Zinder, Maine-Soroa, Diffa, N-Guigmi and 61091 and horizontal visibility between 800m and 6000m.

“These sources from Chad are expected to report poor horizontal visibility in the next 24hrs, based on available models”.

Due to strong winds, the dust in suspension is expected to propagate to some states in the northern part of the country, which will further reduce horizontal visibility, especially over Katsina, Kano, Nguru, Jigawa, Potiskum and Maiduguri in the next 24 hours.

READ ALSO: NiMet predicts three-day dust haze across northern region

Daily Trust reports that the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Captain Musa Nuhu in response to the release said the information was intended to alert pilots about the nature of weather associated with the dry season in Nigeria ranging from light/moderate to severe dust haze and sometimes early morning fog which can sometimes reduce the horizontal visibility to below the aerodrome operating minima.

“Therefore, members of the general public are to take necessary precaution during this time in the planning of their trips so as not to encounter unnecessary flight delays,” he said.

The DGCA listed effects of this hazardous weather on flight operations to include Air-to-ground visibility reduction due to haze dust or fog; 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 visuals navigation extremely difficult or impossible; and Flights are bound to be delayed, diverted or cancelled where terminal visibility falls below the prescribed aerodrome operating minima.

Nuhu however advised all Pilots, Operators and Air Traffic Controllers to abide by the safety requirements which include closure of the airspace by Air Traffic Controllers when any of these conditions are observed or forecast by NIMET.

He called for strict adherence to published aerodrome weather minima by Flight Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC).

The DG stated that Pilots/Flight Crew Members shall obtain adequate departure, en-route and destination weather information and briefing from NIMET Aerodrome Meteorological Offices and Stations prior to flight operations and exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed.

“Operators shall ensure that all necessary measures are put in place to cushion the effects of delay or cancellations on their passengers.

“While the Authority urges all passengers to exercise patience and understanding during this period as their safety is of utmost importance, Airline operators and stakeholders are also advised to avail themselves of weather reports for effective planning in their operations as violations would be viewed seriously,” he added.

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