Sunday, May 18, 2014 4:13 pm
Ikeja – The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Sunday appealed to intending passengers to exercise patience over flight cancellations or delays due to adverse weather condition.
The appeal was contained in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ikeja by NCAA’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr Fan Ndubuoke.
According to the statement, the rains experienced in recent times might result in occasional flight cancellations or delays.
It said that passengers were required to remain calm while avoiding violence and confrontation with airline officials as the measure was to ensure their safety.
Airline passengers, the statement said, should be aware that the airline was only ensuring their safety and observing the rules of engagement enshrined in their tickets.
The statement said NCAA’s Directorate of Consumer Protection (DCP) also expected airline officials to ensure sustained communication to affected passengers if and when flight cancellation or delay was anticipated or occurred.
The statement said airline pilots were required to obtain enroute/destination weather information before the operation of a flight.
It added that they were also required to abort a flight if the weather condition was unsafe for operation.
The statement said that the onset of the rainy season was usually accompanied with thunderstorm, lightning and turbulence.
“The most severe of them being the wind shear. When wind shear occurs along the flight path, it causes abrupt and substantial displacement of the aircraft from its intended path.
“This becomes extremely hazardous for aircraft taking off and landing.
“Other hazards associated with rainfall include microburst, hail, lightning, low ceiling and visibility, icing, altimeter error and engine water ingestion.
“In other words, the rains being experienced now may result in occasional flight cancellations or delays,” it said.
The statement reiterated that NCAA’s primary responsibility was to ensure safe and secure air transportation in the country.
“It is pertinent to draw the attention of both the operators and passengers to the rights, responsibilities and limitations of all the parties as spelt out in the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations 2012 [NigCAR] Part 19.5.3 which state thus:
“An operating airline shall not be obliged to pay compensation for cancellation if it can prove that the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided, even if all reasonable measures have been taken.
“Therefore, any air operator who delays or cancels flight due to adverse weather conditions is merely upholding the standard and recommended practices in the industry worldwide and as spelt out in our regulations.
“Once again, we wish to reiterate that the passengers should be fully aware that the airline is ensuring their safety and observing the rules of engagement enshrined in their tickets,” it said. (NAN)