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Nigeria’s aviation agency explains cause of flight cancellation, delays - PREMIUM TIMES

FEBRUARY 13, 2020

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has appealed to passengers over the prevailing flight delays and cancellations experienced in airports across the country

The agency said the development is due to adverse weather situations.

A statement by Sam Adurogboye, the agency’s spokesperson, said the prevailing inclement weather is a global experience at the moment which had also warranted the cancellation of inbound international flights, noting that it is not peculiar to Nigeria.

Earlier, the NCAA had urged pilots, operators and other stakeholders to exercise restraints over harmattan dust haze and on safety approach to adopt. Last year, the agency issued an Advisory Circular alerting pilots of the hazards associated with dust haze.

Dust haze is a dry and dusty wind that blows south from the Sahara across Nigeria, which is expected to persist till March.

NCAA noted that as issued by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency in its Seasonal Rainfall Prediction Bulletin-2019, the cessation of the rainy season was predicted from mid-October (in the Northern part) to early December, 2019 (in the Southern part).

The agency directed pilots and to take note of hazards and operational problems associated with the airspace in the interest of safety.

The NCAA warned that among the hazards include the possibility that air-to-ground visibility may be considerably reduced due to dust haze; 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 visual navigation extremely difficult or impossible.

The agency also noted that flights are bound to be delayed, diverted or cancelled where terminal visibility falls below the prescribed aerodrome operating minima.

On their part, the NCAA urged pilots to exercise maximum restraint when severe weather condition is observed or forecast by Nimet while flight Crews/Operators and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) are encouraged to ensure adherence to aerodrome weather minima.

“All Pilots shall obtain adequate departure, en-route, destination and alternate aerodromes weather information and briefing from the aerodrome meteorological office prior to flight operations,” the statement said.

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

“While Passengers must be informed of any development concerning their flights well ahead of time by the Airlines, the regulatory authority will expect strict compliance from all stakeholders regarding the Circular as violation will be seriously viewed.”

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