PM Srettha pays unannounced visit to Suvarnabhumi Airport amidst biometric glitch

Photo courtesy of Pattaya News

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin paid a surprise visit to Suvarnabhumi International Airport yesterday morning, amongst reports of a recent biometric system glitch that threw the airport into chaos during rush hours.

The glitch, a repeat offender, wreaked havoc on automatic passport control channels, leaving departing jet-setters stranded and frustrated. Eyewitnesses claim the prime minister’s unannounced appearance was a direct response to this technological turmoil, reported Pattaya News.

Details surrounding the 61 year old PM’s mission and any decisive actions taken have not been disclosed.

Suvarnabhumi International Airport faced significant disruptions in the early hours of January 24 when its biometric immigration system malfunctioned, causing delays and a rapid build-up of passengers. Immigration police swiftly implemented contingency measures to mitigate the impact on flight schedules.

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Suvarnabhumi Airport’s immigration department was thrown into chaos as the biometric system encountered technical issues around 4.30am. Chaired by Chaiyapruek Rimphadee, the Immigration Division 2 leader and spokesperson for the Immigration Bureau, a swift response was initiated to address the malfunctioning system.

There has been no announcement as to whether the problems have been resolved.

In related news, the new chairman of Airports of Thailand (AoT), Police General Visanu Prasattongosoth, announced an ambitious plan to elevate Suvarnabhumi International Airport into the top 50 global airports within two years. The strategy, revealed yesterday, January 18, is part of AoT’s broader initiative to upgrade and increase the capacities of six airports under its jurisdiction, in response to the anticipated global resurgence of air travel in the post-Covid-19 era.

In other news, The AOT, eagerly awaiting the green light from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), is on the cusp of obtaining public airport certification for Udon Thani, Buriram, and Krabi airports. According to Police General Wisnu Prasatthong-osot, the visionary chairman of the board, the AOT will begin the development of its airports as planned once the certifications have been received.

The ambitious plan includes injecting 6.4 billion baht into Krabi Airport, boosting its capacity to accommodate 12 million passengers annually and handling 31 flights per hour.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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