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The crush is over, says Phuket airport deputy manager

PHUKET: Senior management at Phuket International Airport has played down the long queues of passengers arriving in Phuket waiting to clear immigration yesterday and today (Feb 26-27).

By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Tuesday 27 February 2018, 05:13PM

The overload was created by flights rescheduled to arrive in Phuket outside the hours when workers were carrying out repairs to the runway and an area near a taxiway, Sumpan Kutranoon, Deputy General Manager of the Phuket International Airport, told The Phuket News today (Feb 27).

The repairs were decided on Sunday evening, and saw the runway closed to all takeofffs and landings from 2am to 7am yesterday and today. (See story here.)

As a result, a total of 75 flights were rescheduled yesterday, with another 59 flights rescheduled today.

“The period of overcrowding has passed, it was only temporary,” Mr Sumpan said.

“Flights had to be rescheduled while the runway was under repair, was took five hours both yesterday and today,” he added.

The rescheduled flights resulted in a crush of passengers arriving in quick succession, causing long queues of passengers waiting to clear immigration, Mr Sumpan explained.

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“Immigration officials worked the best they could. They took only 45 seconds to clear each person. That is the best we can manage in clearing each passenger.

“I know it was inconvenient, but the long queues were only in the morning. The repairs to the runway were completed by 6am today, and everything was back to normal by 10am,” he added.

Mr Sumpan noted that the repairs and the ensuing delays were necessary.

“Safety is our first priority. We could not wait until April to have this done. We don’t want to risk any possibility of an accident,” he said.

Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong was continually updated of the situation through the Public relations Department this morning, Mr Sumpan added.



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Kurt | 28 February 2018 - 09:36:32

Unforseen repairs?  
Impossible, without first many meetings of many departments in advance.

The airport just forgot completely to inform long haul incoming flights ( 6 hours and longer) in advance as repairs were just announced 5 hours before doing them.

Are the airco's today working?

Pauly44 | 28 February 2018 - 08:39:17

OK so it was decided the day before to close the runway during peak tourist season, I hope it was for emergency unforseen repairs but knowing this airport it wouldn't surprise if it was scheduled maintenance. 

Foot | 28 February 2018 - 06:52:50

“The period of overcrowding has passed, it was only temporary,”
Until next time.

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