Thursday, September 24, 2020

14 provincial airports to be opened for May holidays

Apr 30. 2020
Tawee Gasisam-ang
Tawee Gasisam-ang
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By The Nation

Up to 14 airports across Thailand will be reopened to support domestic air travel during the long holidays in the beginning of May, Department of Airports director general Tawee Gasisam-ang said on Wednesday (April 29).

There are three public holidays in the first week of May alone.

He added that from the start of May, 32 domestic flights will be allowed to operate in airports under the department’s supervision and up to 3,000 passengers are expected daily.

“After Covid-19 emerged, the number of flights dropped to between four and seven per day before stopping completely,” he said. “In normal conditions, there are approximately 100 flights and 40,000 passengers daily.”

He added that most of the airports to be reopened are located in places where adjoining provinces have lifted restrictions, such as Nakhon Si Thammarat and Udon Thani airports.

Tawee said the department has also enhanced measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 in all reopened airports, such as disinfecting baggage carousels and asking airlines to set up partitions at check-in counters to separate staff and passengers.

“In compliance with the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand [CAAT] standards, we have also rearranged seats and put in place means of measuring passengers’ temperatures,” he added.

Meanwhile, Flying Officer Sumpun Kutranon, general manager of Don Mueang International Airport, said he expects a lot of passengers to use the airport during the long holidays in May, especially those who want to use low-cost airlines.

“We initially expect approximately 4,000 passengers daily, because from May 1, airlines will operate 90 domestic flights per day,” he said, adding that before Covid-19, the daily number of passengers was 100,000.

He also said the airport has implemented measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, such as requiring passengers to only enter the terminal via gates 10 and 14 so their temperature can be measured.

“Passengers who are found to have fever or those who don’t wear a mask will not be allowed to enter the terminal,” he said, adding that lines have been marked for passengers to maintain a metre’s distance from each other while lining up for tickets, baggage check or boarding the plane.

“Airlines have also been instructed to rearrange seating inside the bus that takes passengers to the plane,” he added.

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