The Ministry of Transport has directed Suvarnabhumi Airport to solve the issue of long immigration lines and baggage carousel wait times as soon as possible in order to better ease the admission of foreign tourists amid Thailand’s tourism recovery.
Suvarnabhumi Airport, the country’s major international arrivals port, received 4.3 million passengers last month, with an average of 138,287 daily passengers, marking 317% year-on-year increase.
In January 2023, the airport handled 25,690 flights, with a daily average of 829. Approximately 2,000 of the flights that month – or approximately 80 flights per day – came from China, bringing in a total of 255,000 arrivals, or approximately 11,000 people each day.
The increased number of arriving passengers has caused some challenges at the airport, including congestion at passport check and lengthy luggage processing times. While these difficulties have already been rectified, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob stated that further work is needed to assure the airport’s capability for future expansion.
Airports of Thailand (AOT) has been instructed by the Ministry of Transport to build 60 more immigration counters at the airport’s passport check facilities. This extension, which is now in the process of choosing contractors, is projected to increase passport control processing capacity to 3,000 individuals per hour.
AOT has directed the two ground-handling providers to expand the number of staff members and equipment in order to handle more flights. In an effort to cut delays, several airlines have acquired temporary permission to operate their own ground-handling at the airport.
The AOT is also in the process of selecting a third ground-handling provider to serve flights at the airport, which would allow the airport to boost its expansion capacity for flights and people more sustainably.