Connect with us


Phuket Airport prepares for eventual launch of tourist pilot project

Maya Taylor




Phuket Airport carried out a trial run yesterday, going over all the steps necessary to admit tourists under the much-discussed, not-yet-happening, off-and-on “Phuket Model”. The plan to use Phuket as a pilot, to test a limited return of international tourists, was set to launch in October but has now been postponed. The brakes were applied when Thailand recorded its first locally-transmitted case of Covid-19 in over 3 months, coupled with some concerns raised by Phuket locals, who questioned the safety of the plan.

There are hopes the plan will eventually be put into effect, with staff and officials at Phuket Airport holding a dress rehearsal yesterday, to run through every step of the process. This includes the screening of arriving tourists, document completion and checks, and transporting arrivals to their designated quarantine accommodation.

A report in Nation Thailand says several airport agencies were involved in the run-through, including Immigration, Customs, and the Tourist Police. Thanee Chuangchoo, the airport’s general manager, says should the government decide to re-open to foreign tourists, Phuket Airport wants to be ready, adding that procedures at the facility will mirror those already in place for repatriating Thais and expats at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport .

Meanwhile, the medical director at Phuket Airport says thorough health checks will be in place for all arrivals. Darunee Budin says temperatures will be checked with a Thermo-Scan and, in the event of anyone showing a fever, that passenger will be separated from others and monitored. Should their condition worsen, they will be sent to hospital.

She says all arrivals will have their documents thoroughly checked, including fit-to-fly papers and medical certificates, adding that anyone without all the required documentation will be returned to their country of origin. Those who pass all document checks satisfactorily will then proceed through Immigration and Customs, before finally being transported to their quarantine facility.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.



  1. Avatar


    Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 11:26 am

    The plane can take off when the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 11:51 am

    I hear that they have ordered a truckload of hoops for foreign tourists arrivals to jump through.

    • Avatar


      Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 3:12 pm

      What tourists will those be then? Do pilots and cabin crew count?

  3. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    A dress rehersal for something that’s happening 6-8 mos from now?

  4. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    Who are these locals and how many are there? I guess they can’t be the ones losing their jobs?

  5. Avatar

    Kenneth Brewster

    Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    Interesting choice of words:Launch the tourist pilot from the airport. Will spectators be allowed ?

  6. Avatar


    Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    The comments I have read about this article are full of sarcasm. Sarcasm is also the lowest form of wit. I am glad to see that the people of Phuket and particularly the airport staff are “going through the drills” in preparation for the eventual return of foreign tourists to Phuket. The day is coming when this pandemic will come to an end (maybe in the same way the Spanish Flu did…..there was no vaccine it just fizzled out). That readiness will put Phuket in a good position to receive foreign tourists in larger numbers. Better that, than being unprepared and being passed over for other destinations that are prepared.

    Of course having said that, the “Phuket Model”, which has been the proposition put forward by the government, has been almost universally condemned in every poll and opinion piece. Sadly, the government seems to have run out of ideas. Having achieved almost zero community transmission, the decision makers can’t decide whether to keep foreigners out (which will destroy the lives and livelihoods of the people) or let foreign tourists in (which will boost income to the lives and livelihoods of the people….and maybe the virus too). The 14 day quarantine period, irrespective of the outcome of a test (positive or negative) is illogical. The incoming tourist has a test 72 hours before departing, which has to be negative to fly. I totally understand that the Thai Government may be sceptical about the effectiveness of the testing of another country (the tourist will also suspect your own testing….that’s only fair ….and worth remembering). But why would there be a need for quarantine if the tourist tests negative (twice now)??? I can understand the tourist being in quarantine, until the result of the test is known (maybe a day or two). If the test is negative, full access to tour Phuket (and only Phuket). If positive,14 days quarantine and the possibility of being sent back to their country of origin. That is the only basis that would be acceptable to a foreign tourist. Take it or leave it.

    I do hope that the government will consider this, if they hope to attract foreign tourists back to Phuket and Thailand. It is the only logical way I can see a path out of this mess. The one thing I do hope of the Thai Government, is that they give clear direction, so that the people and businesses have a clear and defined path out of this crisis, with clear timelines. Indecision is the same as impotence.

    • Avatar


      Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 10:38 pm

      You are 100 correct.. But… That is facing a political logic against basic logic.. Government prefers to set collective hysteria & paranoia for the great move of the emergency decree month after month with full power… Am I wrong? May be,

  7. Avatar

    Brian Erhan

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 2:38 am

    Thailand, as many of us know, is terribly complicated and difficult to make decisions. Open or close the circus all year round so the “magnets” can rest and for a while think about how important tourists are to the country. Eating or being eaten is the question. The panic will linger for a long time in that country and the negativity will increase on the violence and the student movement which I fully agree with, go for it Democracy !!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Phetchabun sugar factory closes with Covid-19 cluster

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Police investigate hackers selling stolen vaccine appointments

Chon Buri6 hours ago

Driver blames GPS for durian truck wedged under overpass

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Despite low riders, Covid-19 train to continue

Pattaya10 hours ago

Planning for “Pattaya Move On” reopening scheme continues

Best of10 hours ago

Top 5 cookie shops in Bangkok

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Drugs11 hours ago

Marine police seize 30 kilograms of methamphetmine from squid fishing boat

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Bars defy bans, Sandbox ‘still on’, vaccine rush | July 28

Thailand13 hours ago

Thailand to apply for Guinness World Record for longest petrified log

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Koh Samui bar and club finds 16 Covid-19 infections

Best of14 hours ago

Kanchanaburi’s 5 coolest hotels

Thailand14 hours ago

Thousands of inmates granted royal pardon on HM the King’s birthday

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 16,533 new cases; provincial totals

Best of15 hours ago

5 of the most amazing hotels in Koh Chang

Best of15 hours ago

The best steakhouses in Pattaya serving juicy steak

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8