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NEWS UPDATES 9 August 2010

Airlines want speed up at Thai airport

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More than 80 airline operators comprising the Airline Operators Committee at Thailand's Suvarabhumi Airport have requested the Airports of Thailand (AOT) and the Immigration Police Bureau to improve processing arriving passengers at the airport.

The committee says the Immigration Police do not have enough officers to handle its procedures and recommends outsourcing to ease the workload.

The committee has also asked AOT and the Immigration Police Bureau to look into whether regulations could be amended to permit the outsourcing of these duties.

The police bureau is considering introducing an electronic passport (e-passport) system using an auto-gate machine. An e-passport holder would insert the passport into a reader,

press the finger scanner and the machine would then take a picture. That system is already in place at South Korea's Incheon International Airport. Stamping a passport takes much longer than verifying a holder's identity using the e-passport system, it is reported.

Officials say it would be necessary to outsource immigration work while waiting for the installation of the auto-gate machines.

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