Queues will be cut short and departing to other countries made easier now that foreigners can use the automatic channels at Suvarnabhumi Airport’s immigration checkpoint.
On Friday, the upgrade for automatic channels for foreigners was set forth by Prime Minsiter Srettha Thavisin in an effort to speed up lines and help boost tourism.
“Passengers – all nationalities, holding e-Passport are now eligible to use the Immigration Auto Channel to leave Thailand at the International Departure, Passport Control, Suvarnabhumi Airport,” the announcement read.
Thai nationals have been using the automatic channels since 2012. Suvarnabhumi Airport has 16 automatic channels in total.
Srettha felt concerned that foreigners departing Thailand were taking too long at immigration, with immigration police taking up to 45 seconds to check each passport compared to an automatic channel’s average of 20 seconds.
The move was implemented after Srettha departed the country to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the US. The PM then noticed lengthy lines for departing tourists at immigration checks.
The upgrade will allow around 12,000 passengers to depart from the airport per hour, compared to 5,000.
For now the upgrade is only available for departing passengers. Automatic passport check-in machines will be available for both departing and arriving passengers at both Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports by July next year.