Six Thai Airports to Become “Smart” by 2022

4th Dec 2017

Department of Airports (DOA) Director General Darun Saengchai announced this weekend a new project that will transform six DOA-managed airports into so-called “smart airports” by 2022. The six airports chosen for the project are: Khon Kaen, Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat ThaniUbon Ratchathani and Udon Thani.

The early phase of the project will cost 13 billion baht. Of that, the department aims to spend 8.8 billion baht on installing a new “in-line screen” type luggage-handling system and on a more secure explosives detection system. The rest, 4.4 billion baht, the DOA plans to use toward solving the overcrowding problem that has been plaguing the majority of Thai-based airports for some time now, including the six selected for this project.

The management of the smart airports plan has been assigned to Pornthep Ruethaicharoenlap, who said that project aims to resolve the overcrowding problem by using a new automatic passport inspection and boarding pass scanning systems, called the Automated Immigration Gate and the Automated Boarding Gate.

In addition, the passengers on these airports will be able to go through control faster thanks to the new luggage check and identity check systems that the project includes. For example, the identity check will use retinal and finger scan technologies, making things not just faster but also catching known criminals a bigger possibility.

Speaking of security, new security cameras will also be installed in these airports. The cameras are the latest technology and will be capable of alerting airport security in case they detect a suspicious item (such as a bag or package left at the airport terminal) left for more than 15 minutes.

The passengers will also be get assistance from Airport Guide Robots in case they have a problem (for example if they can’t find their terminal) and the new Automated Cleaning Robots will make sure that the airports and their facilities are clean.

The Department of Airports manages 28 airports in the country, while six are operated by the Airports of Thailand (AOT). For example, Krabi Airport saw over 4 million passengers in 2016.

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