Airport Immigration gets more officers
MAI KHAO: Phuket Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura visited Phuket International Airport yesterday to meet 15 new Immigration Police officers recruited for the start of the high season next month, in response to complaints of long waiting times in the arrival hall.
Journalists were told that the airport usually has 15 Immigration Police officers, but that authorities had decided that this was not enough, so additional staff had been brought in from other provinces.
They will be based at the airport for around eight months. The Airports Authority of Thailand (AAT) is also preparing to train university students to work at the airport and to support Immigration officers during busy times.
Pol Lt Col Chusak Phumasunporn, of the AAT police, said there was now more room for tourists to wait at the airport, and that a new computer system had been installed to speed up Immigration procedures.
Gov Udomsak explained that the new Immigration officers had been recruited following reports in the Gazette that foreign visitors had complained about the amount of time they had had to wait in line for Immigration.
He said, “We care if foreigners complain to the Phuket Gazette about waiting for two hours when they come here.
“We must solve the problem by having a separate Immigration channel for ‘business foreigners’, who come to Phuket regularly on business.
“The airport should cater for them better, for example by providing a separate Immigration channel for them, because there is a good chance they will become residents of Phuket in the future, and they can help change Phuket from a normal tourism destination into an international city.”
He added that the local authorities were working closely with the United States on anti-terrorism measures.
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