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Safety First: Phuket Airport security meets international standards

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Safety First: Phuket Airport security meets international standards | The Thaiger

PHUKET: News about the grand opening of the international terminal at Phuket International Airport (PIA) has littered the airwaves since its official ceremony in September. Like every new, large-scale project in Phuket, and indeed elsewhere in the world, the new terminal has had its fair share of teething problems – something the public has been quick to notice, criticize and rail about.

However, one area where the new terminal has been roundly commended so far – for not only meeting, but exceeding expectations – is its state-of-the-art security system, including a full body scanner to match the level of security provided at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, the biggest in the Kingdom, and the sixth busiest airport in Asia.

The mammoth task of implementing this new system at PIA was entrusted to ASM Security Management Company Limited (ASM), which was formed in August 2006 as a joint venture between Loxley Public Company Limited and ICTS Europe Holdings BV.

Loxley is a business leader in many areas of commerce and industry, covering telecommunications, broadcasting, and general infrastructure that includes power, transport, environment and construction materials.

The company was originally involved in the export of primary products, such as rice and lumber from Thailand, and later made a move toward the import and sale of industrial and advanced technology products.

With a 74-year history as the market pioneer in cutting-edge technology, Loxley partnered with ICTS due to its position as the leading provider of aviation security services serving more than 45 airports in 20 European countries.

ASM mainly works to improve standards in security training and to measure the quality of implementation of those standards.

“The security standards we have implemented at Phuket International Airport are similar to what you see in the UK and all over Europe. We provide the airport with manpower and we train all our staff, about 1,400 people in all,” says Karn Thongyai, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of ASM.

Not only are they required to meet the minimum standards set by the local regulators – Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, in this case – but also standards agreed as per their contract with the client, which is Airports of Thailand (AoT).

The company aims for continuous improvement of standards, and is tested by international auditors, including European, American and Australian regulators, on a regular basis.

Their staff is trained using high-tech simulation software known as CBT, or computer-based training.

“We have a dedicated training facility and have invested a huge amount of money in CBT. During training, staff can use the simulation machines to understand and interpret the information that is presented to them,” says Keith Hollingdale, PQCT Director at ASM.

“They learn how to use that information to make a decision on whether something poses a threat and how to deal with it. Things like body and luggage searches are also part of the training.”

The training also focuses on the ability to identify and mediate if any articles such as knives, scissors or other sharp objects – or blunt items that can be used as weapons – or firearms, corrosives, explosives or any other prohibited items as defined by International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations, are found on a passenger’s person or in their luggage.

After two weeks of simulation-based ‘classroom’ training, security staff are given extensive on-the-job training.

“During that period, staff actually come into the operation and their activities are monitored by more experienced members. This is when they get to practice what they’ve learned and get feedback about how they’re doing and where they need improvement. What you can’t replicate in a classroom environment is meeting people and dealing with problems as they occur. It’s necessary to get hands-on experience for that,” says Mr Hollingdale.

The team at ASM brings with it extensive knowledge and experience from having worked in diverse fields and settings worldwide.

Mr Karn, who is also the Executive Vice President of Loxley, has more than 30 years of experience with the company.

“In terms of security, I hadn’t seen any company in Thailand doing what I thought needed to be done to bring us on par with other countries around the world. When I was first introduced to ICTS – which had been running this system in many European countries already – I became interested in bringing the same standard to Thailand,” he says.

“My background is not from the area of security at all, but I saw the opportunity and gathered the right people to work with me and make it happen. I’m lucky to be surrounded by many good people who helped me put this together, and we have had great success, both at Suvarnabhumi and in Phuket.”

Mr Hollingdale has worked at Loxley for six years, before which he spent more than a decade working with ICTS Europe.

“We have a really good team here in Phuket and all over Thailand who are really interested in what they’re doing and see the benefit of their work. I’ve travelled around the world and in some countries, you don’t get this level of enthusiasm. The people are keen to learn and apply the knowledge they have acquired during training. Justifiably, they feel a lot of pride in what they’re doing. You can see that they really do care about their work.”

Ruij Sangkhlavipa, Vice President – Operations Task Group at Loxley and Chief Operating Officer at ASM, has decades of airline industry experience. His previous tenures include working as the station manager for Scandinavian Airlines at Suvarnabhumi Aiport and as a security system consultant for AoT during the move from Don Muang to Suvarnabhumi Airport.

“The message we would like to give travellers is that security is everyone’s responsibility. If you see something suspicious, you must raise an alarm. You cannot only rely on security officers, especially at the airport,” he says.

“We hope that when you come to the airport, you understand that we are following regulations laid down by the authorities – at times we may have to confront you about things. I just want to clarify that this is being done for your own safety. Our staff is under immense pressure, not only because there are a lot of passengers going through, but also because of the things they sometimes have to do as part of their job.”

— Zohaib Sikander



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Entertainment

And the winner of Miss Mom Phuket 2019 is…

The Thaiger

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And the winner of Miss Mom Phuket 2019 is… | The Thaiger

The annual beauty pageant run by Lifestyle in Thailand, Miss Mom Phuket 2019, officially celebrated its winner this year – K. Sangjan Modnok, the owner of Royal Thai Villas, who also won Miss Angel Lifestyle by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

The first runner-up title was bestowed upon K. Sakunya Suthaharuetai and the second runner-up went to K. Arista Chakchai, the owner of Baan Ping Yang. Two other distinctions were also given that evening. The first one, Miss Amazing Phuket, went to K. Chadarat Taodaeng, from Tiger Kingdom, and the second one, Miss Lifestyle in Thailand, also known as Miss Popular Vote, went to K. Nopparat Jommuang, the owner of Nopparat Elephant Trekking Camp in Kathu.

And the winner of Miss Mom Phuket 2019 is… | News by The Thaiger

The competition was held in the evening of June 15, 2019 at the Ramada Plaza Chaofa Phuket hotel and was chaired by K. Anchalee Wanich Thepabutr, the President of Woman Development Committee, who gave a speech at the opening of the event.

Miss Mom Phuket 2019 was attended by 17 beautiful, talented and successful mothers, aged 40 or more. This beauty pageant started in 2016 with the original name “Miss Grand Mom”, and aimed to recognise the beauty and savvy expertise of leading business women in Phuket and the neighboring provinces, tightening up relationships in the process while allowing them to show their potential and to join charity activities together.

The revenue from the contest, minus the incurred expenses, will be donated to charities across Phuket and the nearby provinces.

STORY BY: Phuketify

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Phuket

Three injured in motorbike accident in Phuket Town

The Thaiger

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Three injured in motorbike accident in Phuket Town | The Thaiger

 PHOTOS: Phuket Volunteer Rescue

Three people sustained injuries in a motorbike accident last night at Nimit Circle in Phuket Town, on the east of Phuket. The roundabout has eight lanes of traffic feeding into the same circle of traffic.

Emergency responders were notified of the accident at ‘Seahorse Circle’ at 9:05pm last night.

Phuket Volunteer rescue workers arrived to find two damaged motorbikes with three people injured. They were all taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital.

Police are continuing their investigation.

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Business

Hot wheels head for Thailand’s south – ‘Fast and Furious 9’ cars arrive

The Thaiger

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Hot wheels head for Thailand’s south – ‘Fast and Furious 9’ cars arrive | The Thaiger

Cars for the filming of the 9th iteration of the Fast & Furious film franchise have arrived in Krabi (lots of pics below).

An auto parts supply firm in Krabi, with some inside knowledge of the production schedule for the new film, has posted photos of some of the vehicles that will likely be part of the filming when it starts next month.

The producers of ‘Fast & Furious 9’ are spending 340 million baht in the south, including Krabi, Phang Ngan and Phuket, using local crews as support.

Local Thai production manager, Piya Pestonji, met last week with Kitibadee Prawit, the Governor of Krabi, to discuss logistics with the Tourism Authority of Thailand Krabi Office boss, Apichai Aranyik.

The Krabi governor said at the time that ‘Fast and the Furious 9’ is hoped to be a “great advertisement for the nature, culture and history of the kingdom”.

Someone should sit the southern governor down and show him a few of the films which showcase illegal street racing, fast and dangerous driving action sequences and criminal activity being portrayed as ‘good guys’! But seeing the landscape of Krabi and Phang Nga floating past in some of the action will be well worth seeing.

Tony Jaa, the popular Thai action star, appeared in ‘Fast & Furious 7’ taking on Paul Walker.

Hot wheels head for Thailand's south - 'Fast and Furious 9' cars arrive | News by The Thaiger Hot wheels head for Thailand's south - 'Fast and Furious 9' cars arrive | News by The Thaiger Hot wheels head for Thailand's south - 'Fast and Furious 9' cars arrive | News by The Thaiger Hot wheels head for Thailand's south - 'Fast and Furious 9' cars arrive | News by The Thaiger Hot wheels head for Thailand's south - 'Fast and Furious 9' cars arrive | News by The Thaiger

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