Thailand to introduce a new security procedure, the Advance Passenger Processing System (APPS), at six main international airports from 1 December, 2015, and plans to roll out to 32 airports nationwide over the course of 2016.
Airports included in the initial stage are Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai and Mae Fa Luang Chiang Rai International Airports.
The move forms part of on-going improvements to Thailand’s security systems, to ensure that local and international travellers can traverse the kingdom’s main gateways safely.
The APPS allows immigration officials to run instant background checks on inbound travellers, based on their passport information. Personal and visa details will be checked against a list of blacklisted or banned individuals. This ensures that any undesirables are stopped before they officially enter Thailand.
It is not expected that the new system will add greatly to immigration queuing times, but the Airports of Thailand PLC (AOT) is thanking passengers in advance for their patience during the first couple of weeks of implementation as immigration officials train on the new system.
It is also believed that the new system will not increase the time it takes to pass through immigration, as passenger details are instantly checked against a database held by the Immigration Department and blacklisted passengers are immediately flagged.
The APPS will be funded by adding 35 Baht to the price of all tickets in and out of the kingdom for Thai and foreign travellers. While the system is in its early stages, Fast-Pass privileges, either from the airlines or AOT will be suspended.