Airport General Manager Petch Chancharoen and other Airports of Thailand (AoT) management figures led a press entourage through the facility, which has been plagued with problems since the renovations began on Nov 1, 2016. (See story here.)
“The terminal is fully equipped with facilities for passengers throughout 3,500 square metres of space. There are 66 new check-in counters and eight check-in luggage (x-ray machines). We have new boarding gates, numbers four through 10, and seven new air bridges at the terminal,” Mr Petch said.
“There are shops and facilities and five bathrooms for men, women and disable persons, and we have an international-standard security system. All this will increase the capacity of passengers while the interior of the terminal will be more comfortable and secure,” he added.
“The AoT slogan is, ‘Safety is standard. Service is the heart,” Mr Petch added.
The exact cost of the renovations at the Domestic Terminal have never been revealed as were carried out under the B5.14-billion expansion of the new International Terminal, which opened on Sept 16 last year, built at a separate cost of B2.45bn. (See story here.)
Regardless, the project has suffered a slew of problems while the work has been carried out, including among all things a repeatingly leaky roof.
Then came yet another leak just weeks later, notably during a month popular for tourists due to the usual lack of rain, which was blamed as “an incident resulting from construction” – and “not related” to the major roof leakage at the airport earlier that month. (See story here.)
Similarly, just getting the air conditioning to work has proved troublesome.
Back in February last year complaints about that steaming conditions in the Domestic Terminal gained so much traction on social media that AoT posted online its response: “There were a lot of passengers at this moment. Also, the air-conditioning at the Domestic Terminal is still being fixed as it is not working well.
“Right now staff are working to fix the problem by placing fans inside the departure lounge. We have ordered new air-conditioning units but that takes time.
“In addition, only three of the eight air-coolers in the terminal are working. Our staff are trying to rectify this problem as quickly as possible.” (See story here.)
Yet the problem returned and continued throughout this year, finally leading AoT to reveal on May 17 that air-conditioning units will be rented temporarily at a cost of B460,000 as a temporary solution to the soaring temperatures in the Domestic Terminal. (See story here.)
No mention of the air conditioning was made during the press tour yesterday.
Instead, to conclude proceedings yesterday a tsunami-emergency evacuation drill was held, led by Phuket Vice Governor Snith Sriwihok.