According to following news report, new checking/screening procedure at Manchester Airport imposed due to cargo items that were being sent on PIA flights to USA without having them listed/mentioned in load manifest.
The news report claims that USA's Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had warned PIA "to load only that luggage mentioned in load manifest. But the PIA management kept continued sending unaccompanied and un-manifested baggage owned by influential of the country." If true, then someone should be held responsible for not responding to TSA warning.
Seems VIP culture at airports in Pakistan will continue to create hurdles for smooth PIA flight operations to USA.
US imposes new curbs on PIA
April 05, 2012
Yet another security check imposed by the United States on PIA flights operating between the two countries will force the passengers to opt for an airline other than PIA, as the security check will increase the travel time from 16 to 25 hours, sources in PIA said on Wednesday. The security check will be conducted at the Manchester airport, where already the process was taking one and half hour, but the new restrictions are going to increase it to six and seven hours.As per details, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says after April 22, all passengers and luggage on board PIA aircrafts will be subjected to another security check at the Manchester airport prior to arriving in the US.Currently, a briefing is being already exercised in Manchester, which takes one and half hour but the TSA will now check all the baggage and cargo of the flight.
Sources disclosed that the PIA management was sending unaccompanied baggage to the US without mentioning it in the load manifest.In this context, the TSA had warned the PIA to load only that luggage mentioned in load manifest. But the PIA management kept continued sending unaccompanied and un-manifested baggage owned by influential of the country.Sources in the CAA claimed that it was a clear violation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rules, adding that the said baggage was not added to the manifest list for two reasons: Some influential people do not want to disclose its identity and they do not pay for it.A PIA official, while seeking anonymity, said there were two types of manifest with an international flight - passenger load and cargo load. The former is meant for the number of passengers while later convers the cargo. The PIA flies to New York via Manchester three times a week. The new restrictions will not only create problems for the passengers but also raise costs for the national flag carrier.
According to the PIA officials, the curbs may completely throw the airline flight schedule to the US in disarray. Observers believe that the new restrictions might be because of Pakistan’s decision to close the Nato supply route.PIA Spokesman Syed Sultan Hassan, while talking to this scribe, said, “We are in negotiations with TSA as we have already sought one-month time from administration on the issue.” He refuted the impression that restriction was in reaction to the Nato supplies closure, saying, “The US is super power and just using her discretionary powers.”He said the decision, which was scheduled to be implemented on April 22, would not only disturbed PIA’s passengers but also increase the operational cost, adding that the PIA would lose the market share, as passengers would opt to other airlines.Source: The Nation