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NCAA warns airline operators as harmattan approaches

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday, warned airline operators, pilots, and crew to be wary of adverse weather as the harmattan season approaches.

In an advisory circular issued yesterday, the apex regulatory body warned of severe dust haze or fog phenomenon prevalent in local airports at this period.

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Spokesman of the NCAA, San Adurogboye, stated that the adverse weather condition occurrence was expected to subsist from October in the far North, November over the North Central and December over the Southern part of the country. Also, early morning fog may be experienced in the months ahead, especially along with the coastal areas in the South.

Adurogboye said the weather advisory circular was necessary to bring forth the evolving weather information to the attention of all stakeholders, who need to perform their roles.

“Therefore, to ensure safe and efficient flight operations during this period, pilots, operators, and Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) are directed to observe a series of responsibilities. Flight crews, operators, and ATCs shall be conversant with each aerodrome weather minima and ensure strict adherence to the requirements.

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“ATCs may 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 forecast by Nimet.

“Pilots or flight crewmembers shall obtain adequate departure, en-route, and destination weather information and briefing from Nimet Aerodrome offices prior to flight operations; and pilots shall exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by Nimet and briefed passengers accordingly.

“Travelling public are urged to exercise restraint and show understanding in this yuletide month as flights may be delayed or cancelled on 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 advisory read in part.

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