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Last year, 15,752,195 inbound passengers and 14,807,532 outbound travellers passed through the Suvarnabhumi airport's immigration counters, beyond the capacity of overworked immigration officers, says the team commander.
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Long lines of passengers await processing by immigration officials earlier this year. The introduction of electronic machines has helped, but officials are still overloaded. SOMCHAI POOMLARD
6-year-old Suvanabhumi puts heavy load on immigration officers
Pol Maj Gen Natthorn Prosunthorn
Suvarnabhumi airport celebrates its sixth anniversary this Friday. It's a busy place – too busy, says Pol Maj Gen Natthorn Prosunthorn, commander of Immigration Police Division 2.
Last year, 15,752,195 inbound passengers and 14,807,532 outbound travellers passed through the Suvarnabhumi airport's immigration counters, beyond the capacity of his overworked officers, Pol Maj Gen Natthorn says.
"It is impossible to hire more officials to match the ever growing number of passengers. So, the best way is to use machines which boost work efficiency," he added
Pol Maj Gen Natthorn said there is a huge shortage of immigration officers to process travel documents and electronic machines have been brought in to help them do the work. Authorities have deployed a number of automatic channel machines to check Thai passports, the commander said.
The equipment has helped shorten queues at the immigration desk, he said.
Still, the high air traffic volumes force immigration officials to race against time in processing streams of passengers passing through their counters.
The daily rush has reduced meal times to 15-20 minutes for each meal. Their only comfort is that they do not need to pay for the meal, which is provided.
Checking travel documents is only part of his team's job, Pol Maj Gen Natthorn said. They also have a national security role.
"Immigration police must capture suspects who have outstanding arrest warrants issued by police stations nationwide," he said.
Suspects are taken by immigration officials to the stations where the warrants for their arrest were issued, the commander said.
At the moment, immigration officers are taking 10 people or more a day to police stations, which puts pressure on those left at the airport who must pick up their share of the work.
Adapted from a story by Amornrat Mahitthirook in today’s Bangkok Post.
process – to deal with a document officially so that something can happen ทำให้ผ่านกระบวนการ,ปฏิบัติการ,จัดการ
immigration – dealing with people entering and leaving the country การตรวจคนเข้าเมือง
overload – having too much of something to be able to handle or process it ใช้งานมากไป
load – the amount of work you have to deal with; burden ภาระ
anniversary – a date when you celebrate something that happened in a previous year that is important to you วันครบรอบ
commander – a police offer of high rank ผู้บังคับบัญชา
inbound – travelling towards a particular point, particularly into a city ขาเข้า (opposite of outbound ขาออก)
counter – a flat surface over which goods are sold or business is done in a shop/store, bank, or, this case, an airport เคาน์เตอร์, โต๊ะ
capacity – the total amount or number that can be handled or contained ปริมาณสูงสุดที่จะรับได้
hire – to pay someone to work for you, especially for a short time จ้าง
match – to equal something; to be the same as something else เท่ากันกับ
boost – to increase เพิ่ม
efficiency – the ability to work well and produce good results by using the available time, money, supplies etc in the most effective way ความมีประสิทธิภาพ
shortage – when there is not enough of something การขาดแคลน
document – a piece of paper or a set of papers containing official information เอกสาร
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
deploy – to put in place ready for use นำมาใช้
channel – a route or way in/out of an airport ช่อง
queue – a line of people waiting for something คิว
volume – an amount of something ปริมาณ
stream – a continuous flow การไหลต่อเนื่อง
passenger – someone who travels in a motor vehicle, aircraft, train, or ship but is not the driver or one of the people who works on it ผู้โดยสาร
rush – moving or doing something very quickly การรีบเร่ง
reduce – to make something smaller or less in amount, size, importance etc ลดลง
meal – the food that you serve or eat at one time มื้ออาหาร
comfort – a thing that makes your life easier or more comfortable ความสะดวกสบาย
provide – to give someone something that they want or need จัดหาให้, จัดเตรียมไว้ให้
national security – the protection or the safety of a country’s assets and its citizens การรักษาความมั่นคงแห่ง่ชาติ
role – the purpose or influence of someone or something in a particular situation บทบาท
capture – to catch someone or something; to take someone as a prisoner จับ, จับกุม
suspect – a person who is thought to have committed a crime ผู้ต้องสงสัย
outstanding – not yet done, solved, etc ค้าง
arrest warrant – a document signed by a judge allowing police to arrest someone หมายจับ
issue – to officially announce or give out ออก, ออกประกาศ, ออกคำสั่ง
nationwide – throughout a whole country ทั่วทั้งประเทศ
pressure – a worried feeling that you get when you have to deal with a difficult or complicated situation ความกดดัน