A ceremony was held at Suvarnabhumi airport on Saturday (Aug 19) for the opening of an automatic gate for Singapore nationals, with an intention of reducing immigration congestion at the airport.
The ceremony was attended by Pol Lt Gen Natthathorn Prousoontorn, the Immigration Bureau commissioner, Chatri Archjananun, director-general of the Consular Affairs Department, and Pol Maj Gen Sithichai Lokanpai, commander of the Immigration Police Division 2.
Pol Lt Gen Natthathorn said the opening of the auto-gate, or automatic passport screening system, followed a joint consultation between the Immigration Bureau and the Foreign Ministry's Consular Affairs Department, Thongchai Chasawath, the Thai ambassador to Singapore, and Clarence Yeo, commander of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of Singapore in responding to the Thai government's Thailand 4.0 and security policy.
In the first stage, the auto-gate will be opened at Suvarnabhumi airport for Singapore as the first country. In return, Singapore will also open an auto- gate for Thai nationals.
The auto-gate is designed to record data of passengers, photographs and fingerprints of passengers to be used to verify their identities in the next trips. It is also linked to the advance passenger processing system (APPS) of airlines.
The auto gate will be operated on a trial run at the Suvarnabhumi airport. After that the service will be expanded to other international airports in the country such as Don Mueang, Phuket and U-tapao.
Other countries will also be allowed to apply for the service. The applicants will be considered on a country-by-country basis, with the priority to be given to countries with a high tourism potential and a large number of travellers to Thailand.
Security is also a factor to be taken for consideration.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)