On February 9th, 2024, Dr. Keerati Kitmanawat, the president of Airports of Thailand Co Ltd. (AoT), publicly revealed details after a meeting with the Thai Immigration Office regarding a solution to congestion in the passport control area at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin gave the order to find a solution to congestion in the passport control area to support incoming Chinese tourists after the Thai and Chinese governments signed an agreement on reciprocally permanently waiving visas effective March 1st, 2024.
At present, AoT invested in more than 80 auto passport-check-in channels worth more than 560 million baht which would be publicly available in August 2024. The new auto channels would potentially reduce the check-in process and increase the number of passengers through the check-in process from 6,200 to 8,800 passengers per hour.
Furthermore, AoT would recruit more airport staff members, up to 200 more individuals, in April 2024 to manage and guide passengers using airport auto channels, remarked Dr. Keerati.
For the next phase, AoT aimed to expedite an expansion of the East Wing of Suvarnabhumi Airport with an estimated investment of 10 billion baht. The project was estimated to be finished by 2027 and could reportedly support more than 15 million passengers per year, said Dr. Keerati.
Additionally, other projects such as Don Mueang Phase 3 aimed to increase a capacity to facilitate more than 50 million passengers per year as well as an expansion of a new international wing of Chiang Mai airport. Both projects were estimated to be finished by 2027, concluded Dr. Keerati.