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The time it takes to escape Phuket airport affects travellers' thinking

Phuket Airport Bottlenecks 'Being Addressed'

Thursday, November 25, 2010
QUEUING for Phuket airport's baggage scanning facilities was ''not so long as in the past,'' the airport's General Manager, Prathuang Sornkham, told the Phuket ''Parliament'' this week.

The speed with which passengers can move through Immigration and Customs at the airport has been a concern of honorary consuls and embassy representatives at the previous three meetings with the Phuket Governor and island leaders so far this year.

Germany's honorary consul, Dirk Naumann, asked how the number of Customs officers today compared with two years ago.

Wing Commander Prathuang said that two years ago there were 10 Immigration counters, and there are now 17. The number of officers had been increased from 50 to 70, with 10 more on the way, he said.

A special procedure had been put in place to speed the passage of visitors from the nearby Asean countries, where a long wait after a short flight appears to be unreasonable.

Australian Honorary Consul Larry Cunningham urged a ''flexible staffing policy'' so that more staff could be allocated whenever a number of aircraft landed around the same time.

With Phuket airport arrival and departure numbers certain to surpass seven million this calendar year, long waits for processing at the airport become a turn-off for tourists.

A major construction project to enlarge the airport's capacity to 12.5 million arrivals and departures is set to begin as soon as a construction contract has been agreed, but the rate of arrivals is likely to test handling capacity before the new terminal opens.
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Comments

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Hahahaha....funny but true...

A special procedure had been put in place to speed the passage of visitors from the nearby Asean countries, where a long wait after a short flight appears to be unreasonable.

Posted by Ian on November 25, 2010 16:36

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The biggest improvement they can make to immigration is to have one long snake queue with an aide directing you to the next available counter. It does away with the problem of queuing for ages just to have another counter open and get a crush of people advancing on it.

Posted by Peter on November 25, 2010 23:21

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The immigration channel for Thais and Diplomats is almost always empty. I suggest holders of permanent visas ie Retirement and Work Permits should be able to use this channel. Alternatively add a separate channel/s. The single snake queue should be an advantage which is used a KL airport.

Posted by JohnB on November 26, 2010 09:06

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Feedback from several of our long time repeating guests is that the immigration procedure is faster this year than in the past.

That's good news.

Wolfgang Meusburger,
Holiday Inn Resort Phuket

Posted by wm on November 26, 2010 09:46

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There appear to be improvements. I came through immigration recently and despite more than 12 counters open and all about 30 pax deep, it was pretty quick. Not sure there is space in the current "room" for more immigration counters.

Posted by Duncan on November 26, 2010 13:17


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