Airport, City Hall ‘ready for action’

Suvarnabhumi airport and City Hall are ready to welcome the leaders of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) nations for the 2022 edition of the summit this month.

To ensure that the leaders’ arrivals go without a hitch, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob inspected Suvarnabhumi airport to gauge its readiness yesterday.

Mr Saksayam said Airports of Thailand (AoT) has been ordered to analyse passenger volumes and movements in order to help manage the airport’s manpower and resources when the summit kicks off in about two weeks’ time.

AoT has also been instructed to expedite immigration checks in order to minimise disruptions, especially during peak hours, he said.

According to the AoT, there are 119 immigration counters at Suvarnabhumi airport. When all counters are manned, they can handle nearly 7,000 passengers per hour, Mr Saksayam said.

In addition, there are also 32 automated passport control kiosks for Thai passport holders to ease the traffic of passengers at the airport, he said.

To facilitate the leaders’ arrivals, 20 out of the 120 aircraft parking bays at Suvarnabhumi airport would be reserved for their use, the Transport Minister added, before ensuring the blocked bays won’t have an impact on the movement of commercial flights.

“The ministry has also set up a joint working group with the Foreign Ministry, the Customs Department, and the Excise Department to provide support for Apec leaders upon their arrival,” he said.

Separately, City Hall also announced yesterday that all sites and venues that will be used for the summit are ready to welcome incoming participants.

Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt said yesterday residents living around Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (QSNCC), where the Apec summit will be held, will experience some inconveniences as Ratchadapisek Road, as well as Queen Sirikit Center MRT station, will be closed during the summit.

BMA will also close some public parks for the duration of the summit, but Benjakitti Park will remain open because it will host the summit’s security teams. Lumpini Park will also remain open, he said.