New automatic passport control tested at Suvarnabhumi Airport
New automatic passport control tested at Suvarnabhumi AirportLegacy

The new Automatic Channel for passport control at Suvarnabhumi Airport was personally tested by Wisanu Prasarttong-Osoth, chairman of Airports of Thailand (AOT), before its official launch yesterday. This system aims to ease congestion at immigration checkpoints.

Wisanu participated in a real-world test of the new automatic passport control system before heading to Malaysia on flight TG415. The new system is part of an initiative by AOT to support immigration officers at Suvarnabhumi Airport, addressing issues related to the old system that has been in use for over 15 years and only served Thai nationals.

The outdated technology and a shortage of immigration staff have contributed to passenger congestion, negatively impacting Thailand’s tourism image. The government is keen on promoting Suvarnabhumi Airport as the country’s gateway, welcoming tourists and international investors.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin recently announced plans to elevate Suvarnabhumi Airport to become the main aviation hub in the region. In line with this vision, AOT has allocated funds to implement the new Automatic Channel project. Initially, 56 new machines will be installed at international departures, replacing the current 16 machines. This increase aims to streamline passenger processing without compromising national security, similar to internationally recognised airports.

Wisanu explained that the new Automatic Channel system can process both Thai and foreign nationals at a rate of four people per minute. The process involves just two steps: scanning the passport and facial recognition. This continuous flow system eliminates the need for passengers to go through checks one at a time.

Currently in the testing phase, the system is expected to be fully operational by July. Plans are underway to expand the installation to immigration checkpoints at international arrivals at Suvarnabhumi and other airports, including Don Mueang, Phuket, and Chiang Mai, reported KhaoSod.

“The new Automatic Channel will significantly enhance our capability to manage passenger flow more efficiently. This system not only speeds up the process but also maintains the highest security standards.”

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Author: Puntid Tantivangphaisal