Srettha orders improvement of immigration control at Suvarnabhumi airportLegacy

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has ordered improvements to the immigration control services at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, citing concerns over long queues and excessive waiting times. PM Srettha conducted an unexpected inspection of the airport on Saturday evening, his second unannounced visit since February 5.

The prime minister revealed that he had personally timed the duration of various procedures from the moment passengers exited their vehicles to when they finally boarded their flights. Similarly, he tracked the time taken for arrivals to disembark and clear immigration. He expressed dissatisfaction with the protracted process, and urged officials to establish time limits for processing each passenger, reported Bangkok Post.

PM Srettha noted the critical need for improvements, stating, “This aspect needs to be improved urgently. I want Airports of Thailand (AoT) or immigration officials to work together to inspect the system at peak hours so they can learn about the problems and find ways to solve them.”

The prime minister’s unanticipated visits precede scheduled upgrades across the country’s airports and aviation sector, set to commence next month. These enhancements include the construction of a new runway at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

AoT, according to its president Kerati Kijmanawat, is set to invest a total of 44 billion baht in the expansion of Suvarnabhumi Airport and the third phase of a development project at Don Mueang International Airport. Kerati reported that service and security improvements are already underway at Suvarnabhumi Airport, anticipating a total of 65 million passengers this year.

Don Mueang International Airport developments

Furthermore, the AoT aims to boost the daily flight capacity of Suvarnabhumi’s satellite terminal 1 from 50 flights to 120 within two months, and ultimately to 400 flights by year’s end. The East Expansion project will see an 8 billion baht investment towards enlarging Suvarnabhumi’s passenger building to accommodate an additional 15 million passengers annually.

The AoT will also channel 36 billion baht into the third phase of Don Mueang Airport’s development, which includes the construction of a new international terminal and refurbishment of passenger building 1. This expansion will raise the passenger capacity from 30 million to 50 million annually.

PM Srettha emphasised his ambition to position Thailand as a regional aviation hub, and his eagerness to impress foreign visitors from the moment they disembark. He stated, “We are trying to push for Thailand to become an aviation hub in the region as the country is now fully open to foreign visitors. I want officials to be service-minded and pay attention to visitors to impress them the moment they disembark. Everything should be seen as an opportunity to boost Thailand’s tourism.”

The story Srettha orders improvement of immigration control at Suvarnabhumi airport as seen on Thaiger News.

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Author: Mitch Connor