The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has warned airline owners and pilots of severe weather conditions that could pose threat to safe flights in the weeks ahead following the onset of the harmattan season.
A statement by the NCAA spokesman, Mr.Sam Adurogboye called on pilots to obtain weather forecast from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and adhere strictly to forecasts that suggests adverse weather conditions from harmattan dust haze could be hazardous to flight, crew and passengers.
The NCAA said the warning had become important as harmattan is known to pose an obvious threat to aircraft particularly in areas of challenging terrains due to low visibility.
“NIMET has reported that the prevailing weather condition is likely to herald a long and severe dust haze in the months ahead and pilots should note that air-to-ground visibility may be considerably reduced due to the dust haze,” Adurogboye said.
The dust haze is a dry and dusty wind that blows southwards from the Sahara across Nigeria during the months of November to March.
The effect of the dust and sand stirred by the wind is known as Harmattan Dust Haze.
“This makes visual navigation extremely difficult or impossible and resultantly, where visibility falls below the prescribed weather minima, flight operations are expected to be delayed, diverted or outrightly cancelled,” Adurogboye said.