Expect more airspace turbulence – NIMET warns pilots, passengers

By The Citizen

In order to enhance safety in the aviation industry in Nigeria, the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NIMET) has warned pilots that there would be more thunderstorms so they must have to rely more on accurate weather reports to prevent air crashes.

The Director General of NIMET, Dr. Anthony Anuforom, said that there would be as much turbulent rainy season this year as it was last year as the nature of rainfall and weather conditions would be the same; therefore flight operations should take cognisance of these realities to reach their destinations safely.

According to him, 'the rainfall pattern this year is going to be similar to that of last year in terms of what is happening in the air which includes violent weather, extreme weather effects and they are becoming more and more frequent. Frequency of occurrence of thunderstorm is increasing so there should be more precaution on the part of pilots; on the part of everybody and for us in NIMET, it is a challenge. We should keep our eyes on the weather at all times and that is what we are doing,'

Anuforom said unlike in the past when the agency had modern and needed equipment to accurately predict the weather, no pilot should take off in his flight without Met report so that he would be abreast of weather situation from the airport of departure to the destination airport.
The NIMET DG said it is not abnormal for pilots to experience the bumps that go with turbulence while flying in the airspace and allayed fears about their danger, noting that modern aircraft has the capability to withstand pressures occasioned by turbulence in the airspace.

'It is not abnormal for pilots to experience those bumps in the air for so many reasons and for physics of the atmosphere is such that you cannot avoid it. It is always there. There are many reasons why you have those bumps but they are not anything to be so scared about. I hear people say because of those bumps I am afraid to enter the aircraft but there is nothing to fear because modern aircraft are designed to withstand those conditions; therefore there is nothing to worry about.'

He admitted that thunderstorms are hazardous to flights but advised that the pilot should rely on timely weather report and be abreast with the movement of weather while flying.
'The key advice I will give is that during this season when we have more incidents of thunderstorms which are of course more hazardous in the aircraft. The pilot will do well to pay closer attention to the weather information we given them before departure. The Federal Government has done very well because the quality and number of equipment we have at NIMET at the moment is unprecedented.'

Although NIMET has achieved so much in the last few years, pilots complain that they are still grappling with en-route weather reports, which is the condition of the weather in the distance from the airport of departure to the airport of arrival.
They expressed satisfaction with what has been achieved so far by NIMET and the Federal Government. - Thisday.