Faculty: Environmental Sciences
Department: Geography And Meteorology
The persistent gory incidents, accidents, loss of huge amount of money and outcry by the aviation industry for accurate weather observation and forecast have been of utmost worry to so many researchers. This study analytically examined the altitudinal wind shear variations and their relationships to aircraft operations in Murtala Mohammed and Port Harcourt International Airports, Nigeria. The annual time series secondary data used for this study were sourced from Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) at Murtala Mohammed and Port Harcourt International Airports, and Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET). Power Law Model was used to extrapolate wind shear at 20m above ground level to 50m and 100m above ground level for both airports. The statistical estimation (or analytic) techniques employed in achieving the research target also include descriptive statistics (such as mean, standard deviation, and charts), and inferential statistics including Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation (PPMC), Regression, and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with Least Significant Difference (LSD) multiple comparison approach. All inferential analyses were judged at 5% (0.05) level of significance. The study shows that wind shear increases with altitude at the study areas due to decrease in frictional resistance which is more pronounced close to the ground. A similarity in the distribution pattern of wind shear at 20m, 50m and 100m above ground level at Murtala Mohammed International Airport was revealed by the study. The same similarity in the distribution pattern was also revealed at Port Harcourt International Airport. The study revealed some correlational relationships between wind shear measured at 20m, 50m and 100m above ground level and number of flight diversions, delays and cancellations at Murtala Mohammed and Port Harcourt International Airports. Evidently, the study reveals some temporal variations in the mean and standard deviation of wind shear in the study areas. From the mathematical or regressional relationships between wind shear at 20m, 50m and 100m above ground level and flight diversions, delays and cancellations at the two airports, the study discovered the best models for the relationships. The models discovered, reveal that, should in case the wind shear is known, the number of flight diversions, delays and cancellations can be predicted. The study also reveals based on the effects of wind shear and its resultant flight delays, diversions and cancellations that Port Harcourt International Airport with overall higher coefficient of variation (CV) is considered safer for flight landing. The study therefore, based on its findings, recommends training and retraining of Meteorologists, Air Traffic Controllers and Engineers who are staff of Nigerian Meteorological Agency and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, as well as the pilots, for sufficient knowledge of wind shear.