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Harmattan: NCAA warns pilots, airline operators

By on December 12, 2015

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has implored pilots and airline operators to comply with laid down flight regulations while the current hazardous weather pattern lasts.

It said this had become necessary because of the increasing spread of harmattan dust haze in parts of the country and the risk posed to flight operations, especially in terrains with low visibility.

The Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Muhtar Usman, made the call in a circular to the operators entitled: ‘Aviation hazardous weather: Harmattan dust haze’.

The circular was issued against the backdrop of a forecast by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency on the occurrence of moderate to severe outbreaks of dust in the country during the harmattan period, spanning November this year through March 2016.

According to NIMET, severe outbreaks of dust can reduce atmospheric visibility significantly and impact negatively on flight operations.

As a result, the NCAA urged the airline operators and pilots to ensure that adequate departure, route and destination weather information were obtained from NIMET prior to flight operations.

The regulatory agency also stressed the need for the operators to exercise maximum restraint when adverse weather was observed or forecasted by NIMET, and ensure that flight operations were scheduled with adequate weather information to minimise delays or cancellations.