The Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, said there might be flight delays and cancellations in compliance with safety regulations during the 2022 rainfall season.
This is contained in the 2022 Seasonal Climate Prediction, SCP, report made available to newsmen on Friday in Abuja.
According to the agency, rainfall season in Nigeria is usually cloudy and accompanied by thunderstorms resulting in frequent turbulence during flights.
“Thunderstorms could lead to flight rescheduling, diversion and cancellation leading to loss of revenue. The usual reduced visibility during heavy downpour will not be uncommon in 2022 rainy season.
“Similarly, during the dry season, dust haze and spells can affect visibility that may affect flight operations. Runoffs and aquaplaning on tarmacs and runways also occur during the rains especially at the peak of the rainfall season.
“This may increase skidding off the tarmac,’’ it said, adding that there would be normal rainfall season in 2022.
The agency further said, “Rainfall characteristics in most parts of Nigeria namely, onset dates, cessation dates, amounts of rainfall and length of season are not anticipated to deviate much from long-term average values implicating the air transport sector.
“Furthermore, the predicted warmer temperatures (especially in April) will also increase the frequency of micro-burst and wind shear over the aerodromes which are threats to flight operations.
“Hot weather decreases the density of air. Consequently, an aircraft would need to travel a longer distance on the runway to generate enough lift to take off.’’
It said that this increases fuel consumption and consequently the operational cost of the airline.
“During the season, there could be increased chances of bird strike due to influx of migratory birds (black kites) from the South (Southern winter) into northern region,’’ it said.
The agency advised airlines to get their weather folders from NiMet`s airport forecast offices and weather briefing rooms for proper planning of their flight operations.
It also advised airline operational crews to attend weather consultation in line with provisions of ICAO Annex3 regularly access weather updates especially during periods of active weather.
The agency urged airlines to adhere strictly to advisories from NiMet in line with regulations by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.