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Suvarnabhumi bosses told to sort out immigration, baggage delays urgently

Pre-pandemic queues at Suvarnabhumi. Flickr/曉蘭

Thailand’s Transport Minister has issued a directive to Suvarnabhumi Airport to tackle the issue of lengthy wait times at immigration and baggage claim. The order comes as the country experiences a resurgence in tourism, with the airport seeing a 317% increase in year-on-year passenger traffic, hitting an average of 138,287 daily passengers last month.

But the quick resurgence in tourism hasn’t been without a few speed bumps as, depending on the flights arriving immediately before your, there have been reports of significant immigration and baggage delays.

To accommodate the surge in arrivals, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob has instructed Airports of Thailand to add 60 more immigration counters to increase processing capacity to 3,000 people per hour.

Additionally, AOT has told the two current ground-handling companies to increase staffing and equipment to keep pace with the growing number of flights, including 25,690 flights in January, with around 80 daily flights coming from China.

Thai Airways was contracted the do much of the baggage handling in the immediate reopening of Thailand’s air borders during last year but has since been taken back over by the airlines themselves and professional baggage handling contracting companies.

But, a a solution to further improve the airport’s capacity, AOT is also considering bringing in a single third ground-handling company. This will allow Suvarnabhumi to sustainably handle the rising demand for flights and passengers.

Saksayam emphasised that while measures have already been taken to address the issues, more work needs to be done to ensure the airport’s readiness for future growth.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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