Thai Airport Opens Automated Gates for Foreign Visitors, Streamlines Departure Process

(Photo: TAT Newsroom)

Foreign visitors will have access to the automatic departure passport control lane at Suvarnabhumi Immigration Inspections, Bangkok, Thailand, from 15 December.

Initially launched in 2012 only for Thai travelers, the system, now equipped with 16 machines, is set to streamline the departure process for international passengers. In an announcement on 11 December, Itthiphon Itthisanronnachai, Commander of the Immigration Bureau, said that the move aligns with Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s strategy to enhance services for foreign visitors.

With approximately 50,000–60,000 passengers departing daily, especially during peak hours, the immigration process can be time-consuming. The upgraded automatic system aims to expedite the departure process, accommodating the surge in passengers.

By leveraging this system, Suvarnabhumi Airport intends to increase its initial capacity of inspecting around 5,000 departing passengers per hour to approximately 12,000 per hour.

To use the automatic channel system, foreign visitors must possess an e-passport compliant with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements, applicable to around 70 member nations globally. Approximately 30,000 individuals are anticipated to depart daily.

However, individuals with court orders restricting them from leaving the country, those with criminal arrest warrants, and overstayers will still be subjected to inspection by officials, as reported by Khaosod English.

Looking ahead, the Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited plans to invest in a new automatic channel system in July 2024. This system will replace the current one that has been in operation for over 12 years at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airport immigration checkpoints for both inbound and outbound international passengers.

At Suvarnabhumi, the upgrade will include the installation of 80 machines, a substantial increase from the current 16, with an additional 16 replacements at international arrivals. 

Similarly, Don Mueang Airport will witness the installation of eight machines, doubling the current number for both international departures and arrivals and contributing to a more efficient and accurate system.