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Transport Minister orders urgent action to end to Phuket Airport queues

PHUKET: Thailand’s Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith inspected Phuket International Airport yesterday (Jan 22), where he announced that he had ordered urgent action to be taken to end the long queues of passengers waiting to clear immigration – and hundreds of tourists waiting to clear security to even enter the brand-new International Terminal.

By The Phuket News

Monday 23 January 2017, 01:13PM

Mr Arkhom said he had ordered Airports of Thailand (AoT), which operates six international airports in the Kingdom, including Phuket Airport, to ramp up efforts to have the luggage conveyor x-ray machines inside the brand-new facility up and running.

“Having x-ray machines (scan luggage) at the entrance to the International Terminal is causing long passenger queues, as we have seen in the news reports. (See story here.)

“This is because the conveyor belt x-ray machines inside the airport are being upgraded and will not be available until March 15,” he said.

Until then, passengers will have to wait to have their luggage scanned by security before entering the International Terminal, Mr Arkhom admitted.

Regarding the hours-long waits passengers have been forced to endure to clear immigration, Gen Arkhom said, “I have spoken with the Chief of the Immigration Bureau of Thailand, Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn Prousoontorn, and 50 extra immigration officials will be posted at Phuket International Airport.”

However, he noted, “There are only 13 computers for immigration officers to use now.”

The good news, Mr Arkhom said, “The move to purchase more equipment and dedicate more manpower will start on Jan 23.”

Laguna Golf Phuket

The revelation that steps will be finally taken today to rectify the immigration queues, however, follows Immigration boss Gen Nathathorn staging a public visit to Phuket Airport last Tuesday to announce that all the notorious queues were “no more”. (See story here.)

Meanwhile, Gen Arkohm yesterday said he had ordered AoT to ensure all renovations to the Domestic Terminal currently underway to be completed by the end of this year.

“This is causing some inconvenience to passengers. So, I have ordered all work to be completed this year,” he said.

“I have also asked AoT to look into the possibility of creating another way for passengers access the Immigration area so that travellers will not have to join queues that extend outside the entire Immigration Arrivals Hall,” Gen Arkhom added.

During his inspection, Mr Arkhom also followed up on complaints of the bathrooms being dirty.

“This was because they were using the wrong bathroom cleaning liquid, which made the basins look dirty. They have resolved this problem already,” he said.



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Pauly44 | 24 January 2017 - 17:27:39

Larry, Curly & Mo, if they had a brain between them they'd be dangerous.

PatongPunter000 | 24 January 2017 - 14:56:47

Spot on Kurt!

Kurt | 24 January 2017 - 14:01:37

It were Singapore/german/dutch professionals who made Suvarnabhumi airport working.
Why not ask Singapore professionals to make Phuket International airport working as a international airport should?
Than within 10 working day you have a perfect operational Phuket International airport.
Of course, Phuket airport toilets + sinks remain in thai ministerial hands.
( No thai job steeling, please!)...

GregoryJCS | 24 January 2017 - 10:07:25

Here here. The old terminal worked better. Or at least quicker, especially through immigration. My two visits via the new terminal have seen me stand in line for over one hour wondering why there are only a couple of immigration officers actually working and about 20 empty booths. It is a big disappointment.

Kurt | 23 January 2017 - 18:42:56

The 3 persons on the photo look like schoolboys who are disappointed to be informed they just got a D+, not even a C on there study list and can not be promoted to next class.

Oh wait, in Thailand you always go to next class.
You go with the flow. 
It is not what you know ( skills) but who you do know.

Phuket International Airport this moment proves the significant of it.
It is the intern...

malczx7r | 23 January 2017 - 18:05:58

Hmm, so you know you are building an international airport and you don't have enough computers, and then 6 months after opening you still don't have enough computers, can someone help them and place an order for computers, it seems that this is an impossible task for them to do, maybe they should go down to the zoo and see if they have any available monkeys to replace these idiots who are ...

Andy | 23 January 2017 - 17:25:53

This is so farcical it is hilarious.
They opened a new terminal with just 13 computers for immigration, no new luggage scanners and no Thai Air lounge but its ok the duty free shops were open. Four months later and no progress. What is so special about these computers anyway? If they have 13 why are there only 3 or 4 ever open at departures? Why does it take so long to scan your passport take a p...

Kurt | 23 January 2017 - 16:23:28

Yes, why are the Phuket airport toilets never clean and fresh?
Does it need a Minister of Transport to bend over the toilets and sinks?
What is that lady Phuket Airport Director actually doing daily for her salary?
Is she not making inspection rounds over her airport and order improvements, such as using right cleaning liquid?
It is her responsibility. 
Perhaps she doesn't know that her ...

Phuket Airport | 23 January 2017 - 16:02:56

“There are only 13 computers for immigration officers to use now.”

This was discussed more than 3 months ago and they stated the new computers would be ready within 3 months. More misleading comments and broken promises.

I flew in to the airport yesterday and waited over 1 hour to clear immigration.

benvenuto | 23 January 2017 - 15:33:14

Farce upon farce.  

"There are only 13 computers for immigration officers to use now.” Why? Wasn't the new terminal originally scheduled to open last May?  However the `good news' is they might think about getting more equipment soon and magically will find 50 extra immigration officials.

And what about Immigration boss Gen Nathathorn staging a public visit to Phuket Airport l...

BenPendejo | 23 January 2017 - 14:43:20

More blathering nothingness, and once again we will see no change.  All this guy did was explain why the airport is messed up, and that it will continue to be messed up until it is no longer messed up.  The terminal is brand new...and we're already waiting for "upgrades".  This stuff should have been installed before the place even opened.  I think that in this day and age...all this...

singha king | 23 January 2017 - 13:33:33

Comedy gold. You literally can\'t make this stuff up if you tried too. 
Probably won\'t be too funny in May if I\'m waiting in the line I guess.
50 staff and 13 terminals lol 

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