Immigration tells air passengers to arrive at least 3 hours ahead of flight time during Songkran

The immigration Bureau yesterday told air passengers on domestic and international flights to arrive at three airports at least three hours before their flight time during the Songkran festival as passing immigration procedure may take longer time.

The three international airports which passengers were advised to arrive three hours ahead of time are Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and Phuket.

Immigration Bureau 2 spokesman Pol Col Choengron Rimpadi said the Airport of Thailand has informed that during April 11-17, there would be a surge in passenger traffic at these three airports from inbound and outbound passengers on international flights, and passengers on domestic flights.

The AOT said passenger traffic at Suvarnabhumi during the period will rise to 160,000 per day from 120,000, and Don Mueang to 55,000 and Phuket to 35,000.

As the popularity of the Thai drama series Buppaesannivas (Destiny), a historical fantasy, continues both in the country and abroad, the period would even encourage more travels to the country, he said.

But with limited spaces at these airports to accommodate rising passenger arrivals, the immigration procedure needed for one passenger might take longer than the normal 45 seconds.

It might take up to one hour waiting for some passengers before going for check, he said.

As a preparation to cope with the situation, he said the Immigration Bureau commissions has summoned all immigration chiefs at five major airports to rehearse the plan to facilitate passengers and to prevent criminals entering the country during the period from April 1 to 20.

They included Chiang Mai and Hat Yai, he said.

All personnel at other subdivisions were mobilised to help in checking and screening passengers, and to provide convenience for the handicapped, the elderly, children and women to get checked on a priority basis.

Meanwhile Don Mueang airport director Suthirawat Suwannawat said he expected 859,591 passengers at the airport during April 11-17, or an average 120,000 a day.

The highest passenger traffic will be expected on April 12-13 and April 16-17, he said and added that 25% airport staff will be drawn in to help the existing staff during the period.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)