“We apologise for any inconvenience during the renovations,” Airports of Thailand (AoT) Phuket noted in a release issued today (Nov 7).
“We are working to improve the building to accommodate the increasing number of passengers at the airport for the high season,” it added.
“We have officers posted to direct travellers to the correct areas where they need to go and we have signs posted through the terminal. We have also added extra seating in a new waiting area to make it more convenient for passengers needing to wait for the flights.
“We recommend passengers arrive at least two hours before they need to check in (sic) for their flights,” the notice advised.
“We are also taking steps to alleviate traffic jams at the entrance to the terminal,” the notice added.
The official AoT Phuket Facebook page this morning advised people arriving at the airport to access the new International Terminal to park near “Door 5” on Level 1 or “Door 3” on Level 3 of the five-story car park.
People looking to drop off passengers at the Domestic Terminal, however, were told that vehcles could circle through the drop-off zone every 15 minutes.
The repeated call for “understanding” follows a slew of complaints from people using the airport since the renovations began last Tuesday (Nov 1).
“I just dropped and pick up guests at the domestic terminal, I understand that they have to work but the person or the AoT who organised the temporary domestic terminal is a shame for Thailand and Phuket and we are just at the start of the season,” one local expat reported to The Phuket News.
“I invite you to go to have a look... it is unbelievable to be able to make such a mess. There are already taxis who do not want to pick up guests as there is a unnecessary procedure at the International Terminal, but the mess at the domestic one is tops.
“I don’t know how we will find our guests when more arrive the coming weeks,” he said.
The notice today pointed out that AoT had already notified the public through press releases and through social media, in line with Airport Director Monrudee Gettuphan announcing the renovations at a special press conference on Oct 29. (See story here.)
However, instead of the 330 days allocated for the contractors to complete their work, the notice today explained that the project will take 406 days – 256 days to complete Phase 1 (to close Levels 1, 2 and 3 on the south side of the terminal for renovations); and 150 days to complete Phase 2 (to close Levels 1, 2and 3 on the north side to improve all airport systems).
Meanwhile, AoT has also called for people to abide by the annual ban on all fire lanterns anywhere near the airport during the Loy Krathong festival, which will be held next Monday (Nov 14).