Flight cancellations: Most airlines yet to upgrade planes for bad weather, says FG

The incessant flight delays and cancellations by domestic airlines are due to the failure of the carriers to upgrade their flight equipment, the Federal Government declared on Tuesday.

It also stated that most of the airlines had not adequately trained their pilots to take advantage of the latest Instrument Landing Systems deployed at airports by the Federal Government.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this in Abuja during the public presentation of the 2022 Seasonal Climate Prediction and the 2021 State of the Climate in Nigeria, put together by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency.

The National Assembly joint Committee on Aviation recently threatened to pass legislation that would empower foreign airlines to fly domestic routes in order to check the abuse of passengers’ rights by indigenous carriers, following repeated complaints of flight delays and cancellations.

Reacting briefly to the concerns, Sirika explained that the Federal Government on its part had tried to provide globally acceptable equipment to aid flight activities, but blamed airlines for not upgrading theirs.

He said, “We put Category-3 ILS (Instrument Landing System) that you can use to land in 0.00hours. Unfortunately, some of the airlines or most of the airlines have not upgraded their own aeroplanes and trained their own pilots to take advantage of this equipment to be able to land.

“So we’ve done our bit and we also want to call on operators to please do same in the interest of safety and efficiency of our industry.”

This came as NiMet in its 2022 SCP, projected that the earliest planting season for this year would begin in February, adding that the Southern part of Nigeria would have a longer growing season than the North.

Providing some details contained in the SCP, Sirika said, “The earliest onset of the planting season (beginning of planting activities) is expected about the 28th of February 2022 in the coastal parts of the country.

“The onset of rainfall is expected to occur between April and May in the central states, and eventually within June to July in the Northern states.

“The onset of the planting season is predicted to be normal over most parts of Nigeria with a few areas having it earlier, while some areas having it delayed.”

The minister noted that rainfall cessation dates across most parts of the county in 2022 was predicted to be near the long-term average conditions.

“The growing season is predicted to last between 250 to 300 days in southern parts of the country, and 100 to 200 days in the North, Sirika stated.

He added, “Noteworthy, are areas around Kwara, Oyo, Lagos, Nasarawa, Benue, Bayelsa, and Rivers, which are likely to experience shorter than normal length of the growing season.

“However, prolonged length of the growing season is anticipated in parts of Plateau, Kaduna, Edo,  and Imo states.

He stated that for the annual total rainfall, the prediction indicated that the annual rainfall amount was expected to be normal in most parts of the country.

Article first published on the Punch Website

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