RAWALPINDI: Pakistan International Airline (PIA) needs clearance for clearance on a direct flight to Washington, and a team from the US Transport Security Administration (TSA) arrived in Islamabad last night for the purpose.
The US team will compile a review report based on which the PIA will be allowed to issue direct flights to Washington.
According to sources, the team will also visit Jinnah International Airport Karachi and Allama Iqbal International Airport Lahore.
The US team is expected to discuss aviation and security issues in the meeting with Aviation Secretary Nasir Hussain Jamie.
PIA will likely start direct flights to the United States from May this year.
The US team will submit its final report after a security audit of all three airports.
Talks between the US administration and the PIA have been ongoing for the past two years.
The PIA has taken all measures sought by US authorities, including the use of screening machines at three major airports.
The US Transport Authority delegation had earlier visited Pakistan before the final security audit team arrived.
The PIA developed a flight plan that initially would have 3 flights a week to New York, but that number would be increased later.
Due to security concerns, the United States did not allow a direct flight to the Pakistani airport within its airspace.
This will be the first time that the PIA will start direct flights from Pakistan to the United States.
It should be noted that in October 2017, PIA closed its flights to the United States to reduce rising operating costs and losses it suffered.