EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON AIRLINE FLIGHTS OPERATIONS AT NNAMDI AZIKIWE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ABUJA, NIGERIA
Weather is the most immediate impact related to meteorological conditions. There are a range of different weather-related developments that could lead to alterations in flight operations. For example, increased fog, harmattan haze and thunderstorm could result in more diversions of flight cancellations. The aim of this study is to examine the effect of climate change on airline flights operations with specific reference to aviation delays, diversion and cancellation at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. Abuja, Nigeria. Monthly records of occurrence of fog, thunderstorm, harmattan haze and flight diversion, delay and cancellation for Abuja international airport were collected from secondary sources for a period of eighteen (18) years (2000-2017). The statistical analyses employed were trend, correlation and multiple regression analysis using econometric software (Eviews9). Results indicated that, harmattan haze occurred most followed by thunderstorm while Fog had the least occurrences in the Airport, annual tends revealed steady increase of thunderstorm and fog occurrences while very slight decrease in harmattan haze occurrence was recorded within 2000-2017 in Abuja airport. The study reveals positive statistical relationship between weather elements and flight operations (flight cancellation, delay and diversion) at 95 % confidence level. The impacts of weather elements (harmattan haze, fog and thunderstorm) were statistically significant on flight cancellation only.