Automatic gates to ease congestion at Suvarnabhumi Airport
21 March 2012 :: 17:03:43 pm [ 2,525 views ]
BANGKOK, March 21 - In an attempt to ease congestion at the country's main international airport, Deputy Transport Minister Chatchart Sitthipan said on Wednesday that automatic gates will be operation from April 11 to scan Thai passengers' passports.
In addition, more immigration staff will man booths with an aim to shorten passport check processing time from 45 to 28 seconds each.
The minister said airlines have been asked for cooperation in opening check-in counters for passengers from two hours prior to their departure to three hours earlier.
Meanwhile, Somchai Sawasdipol, Suvarnabhumi Airport director, said the Immigration Bureau brought in staff from the provinces to man immigration booths at 80-90 per cent of full capacity from the previous 50-60 per cent. In addition, the national police chief also assigned 40 female anti-riot police to advise and help passengers in filling out immigration forms since March 17.
The airport also began using so-called ‘snake lines’ to allow a faster flow of passengers, Mr Somchai said. Additional budget has been allocated to the Immigration Bureau to provide more staff at all counters during peak periods.
As of today, the situation is improving and the measures taken apparently ease congestion at passport control counters, he said.
In anticipation of a large number of passengers travelling through Suvarnabhumi airport during Thailand’s traditional new year, the Songkran festival, April13-18 this year, Mr Somchai said the auto gate system or automatic passport scanners would be installed to shorten processing time for passport check. Initially, the service will be applied to Thai passengers with eight machines to be installed at inbound channels and eight more at outbound channels.
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