Airlines to delay, cancel, divert flights during Christmas.
This Christmas, lots of passengers’ flights may suffer cancellation, delay, or diversion over severe dust haze that will affect safety and efficiency of flight operations.
The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA), in a circular signed by Musa Nuhu, the director-general of the agency, alerted airlines and pilots of severe dust haze, early morning fog especially along the coastal areas, which in some instances can reduce horizontal visibility to less than 200 meters.
According to the weather advisory circular, this is expected to extend from November 2021 through March 2022.
Airlines are also to expect Air-to-ground visibility reduction due to dust haze or fog and aerodrome visibility may fall below the prescribed operating minima and in severe conditions, dust haze can blot out runways, markers, and airfield lighting over wide areas making visual navigation extremely difficult or impossible.
The effects of these conditions on aircraft operations are that flights are bound to be delayed, diverted, or canceled where terminal visibility falls below the prescribed aerodrome operating minima, the circular further stated.
Traffic controllers are to close the airspace when any of these conditions are observed or forecast by NiMet.
Also, the director-general further said that flight crews, operators and Air Traffic Controllers must strictly adhere to published aerodrome weather minima.
“Pilots /Flight Crew Members shall obtain adequate departure-route and destination weather information and briefing from NiMet Aerodrome Methodologist offices and stations prior to flight operations and exercise maximum restraint whenever adverse weather is observed.
“Operators shall ensure that necessary measures are put in place to cushion the effects of flight delay or cancellations on their passengers,” Nuhu stated in the circular.