Bangkok Airport to Introduce ePassport Scanners
In response to repeated complaints over immigration processing delays at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport, arriving and departing passengers will soon be confronted with self-service, biometric-reading passport kiosks.
Wilaiwan Nadwilai, deputy director of the Suvarnabhumi Airport, said the airport has invested Bt76 million (about $US2.508 million) in 16 machines, which will cut Bangkok Immigration processing time from the much rumored but rarely achieved 45 seconds, to about 25 seconds per person.
Biometric passports have been issued to Thai nationals since 2005, with many countries globally using what is colloquially referred to as an e-passport or ePassport due to the added security measures they provide.
E-passports utilize contact-less smart card technology comprising a microprocessor and an antenna, typically embedded in the center pages of a passport, containing biometric information on the passport holder such as facial recognition, iris recognition, and fingerprint recognition information.
Typically kiosks contain a camera and require an e-passport holder to insert their passport into a slot in the machine or against a “hot spot” with information captured from the camera compared with information in the chip to determine whether the passport holder is in fact the passport owner.
Ms. Wilaiwan expects the kiosks four on the arrival side and four on the departure side to be in operation before the end of the year and said airport staff will be in attendance to assist travelers who have not used the devices previously.
In addition, preparations are being made to call for tenders for the airports air-conditioning, with Ms. Wilaiwan saying she expects work to also commence before the end of the year. (Thailand travel online)