The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has warned pilots and airline operators to exercise caution over a three-day dust haze lasting from Monday to Wednesday across the country.
Acting Director General, NCAA, Captain Chris Najomo, gave the warning in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos, on Monday.
The aviation chief said that the warning was imperative given the weather report of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) released on Sunday.
The weather report alerted the public on the possibility of deterioration in visibility as a result of observed dust haze propagated into the country.
NiMet’s weather outlook predicted moderate dust haze with horizontal visibility ranging from 2km to 5km over the North.
It envisaged moderate dust haze with a horizontal visibility range of 2km to 5km, and localized horizontal visibility of less than or equal to 1000m over the North Central.
The agency forecast dust haze over the inland of the South and the coastal region throughout the forecast period.
For Tuesday, moderate dust haze with a horizontal visibility range of 2km to 5km is anticipated over the northern region.
The statement also reads: “Moderate dust haze with a horizontal visibility range of 2kn to 5km, and localized horizontal visibility of less than or equal to 1000m is anticipated over the North-central.
The inland of the South and the coastal region of the country throughout the forecast period.
According to NiMet, thick dust haze is expected over the northern region throughout the forecast period.
The agency anticipated moderate dust haze with a horizontal visibility range of 2km to 5km.
It further anticipated localized horizontal visibility of less than or equal to 1,000m over the North Central, the Inland of the South and the Coastal belt of the country.
“Airline operators are advised to get updated weather reports and forecasts from NiMet for effective planning in their operations,” it said.
The NCAA urged passengers to exercise patience and understanding during the period, as their safety was of utmost importance.
The regulatory body’s warning to airlines on safety comes days after it suspended the permit of Mattini Airline Services Ltd pending the completion of investigations into a runway excursion involving a Challenger CL 601 aircraft, operated by the firm.
The private jet operated by the airline which had departed Abuja with 15 persons on board, overshot the runway while landing at Ibadan Airport on Friday.
There was no fatality in the incident.
NCAA, following the incident, said it had also initiated a safety and economic audit of all private jet operations in Nigeria.
It assured the travelling public of its utmost commitment to safety and the entrenchment of global best practices.