Faster immigration queues as Thai airports prepare for high season
The Transport Ministry said it has taken steps to ease the long queues at key airports as tourists start returning to Thailand.
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said on Friday that as a first step the waiting time for passport checks has been reduced from 30 minutes to 15, with immigration officials spending no more than 1 minute per passport. Earlier airport personnel were used to fill in for immigration officers, but as a long-term solution, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered that police officers be trained and placed on standby.
Meanwhile, government spokesperson Traisuree Traisaranakul said though the problem of long waits for arrival stamps has been solved, passengers are still having to wait a long time for their baggage. This, she said, was a long-standing problem as operators reduced their staff numbers during the pandemic and have not reinstated them since.
Saksayam said he will hold a meeting with related personnel next week to find a solution.
The command centre will coordinate operations between the Airport Department, Airports of Thailand, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, the Aeronautical Radio of Thailand and the Immigration Bureau.
Traisuree said the steps were taken in response to Prayut’s instructions that all airports be prepared for an influx of tourists now that the country is fully open.