THAI, BFS told to improve ground services or risk termination
The Transport Ministry has ordered two airport ground service operators, namely Thai Airways International Plc (THAI) and Bangkok Flight Services (BFS), to improve their service or it would terminate the contracts if problems continue to persist.
After a meeting with airport service operators on Monday, Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit said that the ministry has received several complaints regarding poor ground services, crowding at aircraft bays, and the baggage handling system of these two companies.
Suriya said discussions with all parties, including representatives from THAI and BFS, found that the service quality problems were caused by inadequate equipment and lack of qualified personnel due to frequent staff resignations.
To fix the problems in the short term, Suriya suggested having Airports of Thailand Ground Aviation Services (AOTGA) take the workload off some of the ground services, with the consent of the two operators, until they can find suitable replacements for personnel and additional equipment.
The meeting also found that the ongoing repair works on taxiways at Suvarnabhumi Airport had resulted in the airport having too few available aircraft bays, causing crowding at contact gates to the passenger terminal.
To fix the aircraft bay problem, Suriya suggested airlines use bays at Satellite One (SAT-1) terminal instead, while Airports of Thailand (AOT) and ground service operators were told to conduct a study on improving the baggage handling system at SAT-1 to cope with increased usage and submit their report to the ministry in two weeks.
Suriya said currently the SAT-1 terminal is handling 82 flights per day, and the ministry expects to increase usage to 200 per day within the next month.
Suriya also told the meeting that bidding for AOT’s planned third ground service operator would commence by April. He said the move aims to further improve ground service quality at Suvarnabhumi Airport to cope with increased passengers and flights, with a target of making it one of the world’s top 20 international airports and turning Thailand into a regional aviation hub.