Super Eagles assistant coach Salisu Yusuf has defended his 23-man squad for the 2018 African Nations Championship in Morocco. The tournament exclusively for players plying their trade in their countries’ leagues takes place from January 13 to February 4, and Salisu on Tuesday named some of the domestic league stars including Ikechukwu Ezenwa, attacking midfielder Rabiu Ali and Lobi Stars striker Anthony Okpotu on his list for the championship popularly called CHAN. But Salisu’s list has drawn criticism, with some league followers questioning his decision to omit the likes of MFM striker Sikiru Olatunbosun, Nasarawa United keeper Suraj Ayeleso and Enyimba forward Joseph Osadiaye from the squad. The former Enyimba coach, who is in charge of the CHAN assignment, on Wednesday defended his decisions, insisting he selected the league’s best players for the tournament. “We have done all within us to go with the best players available because we wish to give a good account of ourselves in Morocco,” SCORENigeria quoted the former Kano Pillars manager as saying. “There are some players who will not be with us in Morocco either due to injuries or they have signed for clubs in Europe. But overall, this is the best team.” He added, “We don’t want to start talking about winning the trophy because, besides your quality, you will also need some luck to achieve this. “What I can guarantee is that Nigerians will be proud of this team.” Salisu believes Akwa United forward Sunday Faleye, El-Kanemi Warriors attacker Nura Mohammed Rivers United striker Emeka Ogbuh could help fire the Eagles to their first CHAN title. Nigeria have only won bronze (in 2014) since the competition began in Ivory Coast in 2009. He said, “We certainly have more options in attack than we had at WAFU Cup. “And I believe after a week of final preparations in Morocco, we will be ready to take on the rest of Africa at this level.” Nigeria open their Morocco 2018 campaign against Rwanda in Tangier on January 15. They then play Libya in Tangiers on January 19, before travelling to Agadir to take on Equatorial Guinea on January 23 in their final group game.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) have carried out a review of Aerodrome Operating Weather Minima for 18 airports in Nigeria.

The review, which will takes effect from today (January 4) is aimed at addressing the unending woes of passengers with regards to flight delays and cancellations occasioned by the harmattan haze.

The last time weather minima were reviewed was in 1983, Daily Trust gathered.

The foggy weather, described as Force Majure in aviation parlance, triggered cancellations and delays of many flights this week, especially in the North including Kaduna, Yola, Maiduguri as well as well as some southern states of Enugu, Calabar, among others.

Daily Trust learnt that an Ethiopian Airlines flight to Enugu had to land in Lagos on Tuesday with many scheduled flights to the far north diverted to Abuja forcing passengers to continue their journeys by road.

However, with the current review, it appears solution is in the offing.

The general manager, Public Relations of NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, explained in a statement that the semblance of revision undertaken in 1993 only stated that the takeoff minima shall be equal or greater than landing minima at all airports to allow for an air return to the same airport in case of an emergency.

But the current review covering 18 airports allows for takeoff as low as 150 metres Runway Visual Range (RVR) while some airports in the country with Category Two Instrument Landing Systems (ILS Cat II) can permit landing with 300 metres RVR.

Before this review, the lowest visibility with Category Two ILS in the nation’s airports was 800 metres/550 RVR implying that aircraft would be able to take off and land in weather minimum lower than the 800/550.

The 18 aerodromes where the operating minima and takeoff minima have been reviewed are Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Dutse, Eket and Enugu.

Others are Gombe, Ilorin, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Owerri, Sokoto, Uyo, Yola and Zaria.

The authorities said the review  is in compliance with the provision of Part 8 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs Part 8), and in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Doc.9365.

Based on the review, the following airports now have ILS Cat II Approach and Landing Minima: Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Ilorin, Gombe, Owerri, Sokoto, Uyo, Yola, Dutse, Calabar and Enugu.

Adurogboye explained that the regulatory authority took cognisance of improvements in visual and navigational aids within the affected airports.

According to him, the reviewed Aerodrome Operating Minima would serve to enhance the operating capacity of the aerodromes. This is due to the fact that it will avail the operators improved minima for low visibility operations.

According to NCAA, the reviewed operating minima provided for a performance based takeoff minima for the affected aerodromes in Nigeria which is determined by available visual aids for takeoff.

These are runway centre lights, touchdown zone lights, runway edge lights, threshold lights, runway end lights and runway surface markings.

To ensure the seamless operation of these revised minima, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) has been tasked “to continue to ensure prompt and regular provision of required meteorological information” which includes flight visibility and Runway Visual Range (RVR) values to all Air Traffic Controller (ATC) units in the airports.

While NAMA and NIMET are to regularly exchange information on weather condition, all airlines, aerodrome operators and air navigation service providers have also been charged to ensure adequate training of their personnel and flight crew involved in low visibility operations.