Thailand to Tighten Suvarnabhumi Airport Security

In the wake of the Hat Yai bombings and Friday's power outage at Suvarnabhumi Airport, caretaker Transport Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal will increase security at airports across Thailand.

The announcement came after a meeting between the minister, Suvarnabhumi Airport security officials and police officers.

Particular attention was given to Suvarnabhumi Airport with its opening scheduled for September 28. In direct response to Friday's power outage which caused a delay during Suvarnabhumi's inaugural commercial flight, Airports of Thailand Plc. (AOT) will apply stricter access controls to key areas at Bangkok's new hub. Personnel entering the passenger terminal will now be required to wear proper passes and identification at all times.

Construction at Suvarnabhumi Airport's interior is still being conducted.

Suvarnabhumi Airport General Manager Somchai Sawasdeepon is also considering sealing off several entrances to the passenger terminal which will not be needed until September 28. The AOT will ensure that security arrangements, including patrol units and equipment, are fully operational by the time Bangkok's new airport opens next week.

Local police and army personnel will also be mobilized to ensure safety during the first few days of operation.

The AOT has assigned 1,100 employees to security, 700 of whom will patrol the facility's exterior and the remaining 400 working inside the passenger terminal.

A dozen police dog teams and another 1,800 contracted security officers will also be deployed.

Earlier, Supreme Commander General Ruengroj Mahasaranond said between 500 to 600 conscripts will be assigned to the airport to not only ensure safety but also assist if any logistical problems arise during the opening.


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