In a proactive move to address recent challenges in immigration services at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin conducted an unannounced visit. The focus of the visit was to observe the immigration procedures after the airport’s computer system faced multiple failures due to a surge in arrivals over the past few days.
The Prime Minister’s visit, aimed at bolstering tourist services, comes as a response to the government’s commitment to providing a seamless experience for air passengers. The immediate goal is to ensure that arriving international travelers spend no more than 30 minutes navigating through immigration procedures and collecting their luggage.
Beyond addressing the current challenges, the visit is part of a broader strategy to implement long-term measures for the enhancement of airports nationwide. Plans are underway to discuss potential solutions to capacity issues with the Commissioner of the Immigration Police.
Post-inspection, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin revealed plans for a significant overhaul of airports across the country, with an official announcement expected in early March. He emphasized the critical role of immigration and the overall system in achieving this comprehensive upgrade.
Expressing his vision for a traveler-friendly experience, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin asserted that arriving passengers should ideally spend no more than two hours at the airport between arrival and boarding public transport to their hotels. This, he believes, will allow tourists to allocate more time for sightseeing and shopping rather than waiting in transit.
The Prime Minister’s scrutiny encompassed various aspects, from evaluating the efficiency of IT systems to addressing concerns about an insufficient number of immigration officers. His visit extended to inspecting the living conditions of immigration officers, which he deemed subpar. However, he promptly instructed officials to initiate urgent improvements in response to these findings.
The valuable insights gained from the visit will play a pivotal role in shaping the upcoming major plan for airport upgrades. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin emphasized that the improvements will not only address immediate challenges but will also contribute to a more robust and efficient airport infrastructure in the long run.
In further efforts to enhance immigration services, the Prime Minister has invited the Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau to Government House for an afternoon discussion. The focus will be on collaborative strategies to improve services at the country’s main airports, including considerations such as increasing manpower.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin acknowledged the resurgence of tourist numbers to pre-COVID-19 levels and stressed the paramount importance of efficient management. Ensuring that tourists do not experience prolonged wait times at checkpoints remains a priority in sustaining Thailand’s tourism sector.