PM Srettha’s surprise visit unveils mega airport upgrades

Photo courtesy of The Nation

PM Srettha, making his third unannounced appearance, scrutinised Suvarnabhumi Airport’s operations firsthand, focusing on enhancements crucial for managing the surge in passenger traffic expected during the traditional Thai New Year festivities from April 12 to 15.

Sharing his insights on X post-visit, the 62 year old PM applauded noticeable improvements across various services, from streamlined traffic flow at the airport’s entrances to smoother check-in procedures and expedited baggage handling.

PM Srettha unveiled an ambitious key performance indicator (KPI), setting a tight timeframe of 45 to 60 minutes from check-in to customs for outgoing passengers and vice versa for incoming travellers.

To further enhance efficiency, the PM-cum-finance minister disclosed Airports of Thailand’s (AOT) initiatives, extending the advance check-in window to four hours, bolstering self-service kiosks, and doubling staff numbers per shift to optimise passenger flow.

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Assuring against past hiccups, the Bangkok-born Srettha reassured the public of robust self-check-in systems, citing January’s technical glitch at biometric immigration kiosks. The Thai premier outlined plans for integration, streamlining immigration processes under a unified Thailand Immigration System, reported The Nation.

Expressing concern over underutilised facilities, the PM urged airlines to embrace self-check-in kiosks alongside manual procedures, highlighting a mere 28 out of 117 airlines currently utilising the automated system.

In related news, to enhance passenger convenience and elevate service standards, the Airports of Thailand (AoT) unveiled the latest addition to Suvarnabhumi Airport: Grab taxi services. Positioned at Gate 4 on the first floor of the terminal, the newly inaugurated Grab service centre stands ready to cater to passengers around the clock, announced AoT Director Kirati Kitmanawat.

Echoing Prime Minister Srettha’s vision to propel Suvarnabhumi into the echelons of the world’s top 20 airports, Kirati highlighted the strategic move as a testament to AoT’s commitment to fostering seamless transport connectivity.

In other news, travel magazine and website Travel + Leisure ranked Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok as the seventh place most luxurious airport in the world. It was also rated second in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

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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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