Thailand’s airports and their insufficient security continue to make headlines as now three facilities are in danger of losing their international flight privileges, partly due to missing x-ray machines.
A new inspection by the Universal Security Audit Program is just around the corner, due this summer, and the respective machinery has still not been installed.
Local website Thairath (see here – in Thai) quotes officials saying that the x-ray machines for the security checkpoints and baggage screening have been ordered but not yet delivered and it’s uncertain they will be in operation before the inspection occurs.
Two of the three airports, Krabi and Surat Thani, are tourism destinations, and especially Krabi is popular with foreign tourists. You can fly to Krabi for example with SilkAir via Singapore.
These international flights would be in jeopardy should the auditors let the facilities fail. Two years ago ICAO red flagged Thailand’s entire aviation sector as a whole due to lack of oversight and safety standards and the country has yet to be re-certified. LoyaltyLobby reported about this back then (see here).
Thailand’s airport security is a hit or miss depending on which facility you use and that pretty much goes for the entire airport exp,erience including immigration. I don’t even want to know how it looks behind the scenes. That being said I don’t think this is an issue limited to Thailand alone but many of these developing countries and below. And wasn’t there recently a case in the U.S. where an employee used a security bypass door to smuggle drugs and other contraband?
Given Thailand’s recent run in’s with international regulators, I wouldn’t count on the auditors giving these three airports a pass should they miss the standards required. Especially in the case of Krabi this would have inconvenient consequences for international travelers.