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Suvarnabhumi » Fingerprint identification equipment to be installed at Suvarnabhumi Airport

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

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The Immigration Bureau plans to install fingerprint identification equipment at Suvarnabhumi Airport within the next two months.

“Immigration procedures at Suvarnabhumi are very fast. It takes only 20 seconds for the average passenger. It will be even faster when we finish installing the fingerprint identification units,” said Police Lieutenant General Suwat Tumrongsriskul, Immigration Bureau Commissioner, who inspected the new airport Friday during its first day of full commercial service.

In addition to fingerprint scanning equipment, immigration police plan to install additional electronic passport control technology, which they hope will also be in place before the end of November.

During the inspection, Suwat dismissed concerns over criminals possibly taking advantage of the transition period between Bangkok International Airport (Don Muang) and Suvarnabhumi to sneak in or out of the country.

“We have installed passport reading machines at the gate. The passengers need to present their passport a second time before boarding an aircraft. This is to prevent the usage of bogus passports. The machines are also connected to a database of wanted persons,” said Suwat.

For arriving flights, the Immigration Bureau has requested that airlines submit a passenger manifest before a plane arrives, again for security and efficiency purposes. Police can scrutinise the data and, therefore, accelerate procedures before passengers even reach immigration booths.

The new equipment is part of a global trend among international airports to utilise biometric scanning technology for security and efficiency purposes.

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