AoT claims airport security as reason for ‘approved’ taxi drivers

PHUKET: Airports of Thailand branch in Phuket (AoT Phuket), which operates Phuket International Airport, released a statement saying airport security was the reason for the need to allow taxi drivers only “approved” to operate at the airport.

The statement was released online by the Phuket branch of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) late afternoon yesterday, but was not released by AoT Phuket until two hours later at 7:02 p.m.

The statement was marked as in response to ‘social media posts’ about tourists at the airport being ‘asked’ by security guards to get out of a van they ordered through the Bolt app because the driver and the vehicle were not authorized to take any. passengers at the airport.

“Phuket Airport has cleared the case of social media posting photos of staff asking customers to get out of the car for breaking the rules. Phuket Airport is a controlled air zone. Such an act is an offense under Ministerial Regulation No. 2 (1985),” the AoT Phuket statement said.

It should be noted that the statement was not issued on behalf of any airport authority, although Monchai Tanode is currently the General Manager of Phuket International Airport as an employee of Airports Thailand (AoT) .

As clarified earlier this month, Airports of Thailand (AoT) is not a government agency or a private company. It is a state enterprise.

“On 28 September 65 at 6:50 p.m., Phuket Airport Center (CCTV) was informed by a bus ticket seller that a van had come to pick up passengers at Gate 1, the arrival platform . At the Phuket Airport Domestic Terminal, via a service call via app,” the statement continued.

“Phuket Airport would like to make it clear that Phuket Airport is a controlled air zone. Therefore, such act is an offense under Ministerial Regulations No. 2 (1985) issued under the BE Act on the ‘Airports Authority of Thailand,’ the statement said.

Anyone who performs any of these three acts may be considered guilty of illegally operating the airport as a government facility, according to the statement.

Individuals are not permitted to announce or advertise their service with a sound device, sign or any other means at the airport.

Persons are not permitted to carry goods within the Airport Restricted Area (any airport area) unless permitted by measures prescribed by Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) and Ministerial Regulation No. 14 BE 2543 issued under the Airport Authority of Thailand BE Act.

People are not allowed to solicit aircraft passengers or others to use vehicles or any other services that are not authorized by the relevant official, the statement said.

“The aim is to track important information or complaints for outside services as Phuket Airport has a registration system and database of records of drivers of public service vehicles authorized to operate. in the domestic and international terminals of Phuket airport in order to inform and publicize [this information] to passengers and stakeholders,” the statement read.

“In this regard, Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) attaches great importance to the security measures of the six airports, especially issues that affect passenger safety and the country’s tourism confidence.

“And in Phuket, if you see an offender or make a complaint, you can report the violation through the Phuket Airport Security Center on telephone number 076 351 191, the airport administration department of Phuket on 0 7635 1520,” the statement concluded.

Although lengthy in its explanation, AoT Phuket’s statement fails to mention that the only taxi drivers authorized by AoT Phuket to pick up passengers at the airport pay millions of baht through a concession for the exclusive rights. to pick up passengers at the airport.

The statement also failed to answer the only question posed by taxi driver Suriya Thongsamak yesterday: to publicly state the exact rules about who is licensed and who isn’t.

The current ‘understanding’, as evidenced by practice, is that self-employed taxi drivers operating through an app are allowed to drop off passengers at the airport, but not allowed to pick up passengers at the airport.

The statement made no mention of it.

The statement also gave no explanation as to why AoT Phuket does not recognize drivers who are properly licensed and registered with the Phuket Land Transport Office and with fully registered vehicles to operate as taxi drivers “n’ anywhere in Phuket”.

AoT Phuket, in its statement, also ignored that the videos posted online clearly showed a black international-branded resort limo parked outside the airport terminal, ignored and unchallenged by security guards. the airport a few meters away as they dispatched Mr Suriya and ordering the tourists, a young foreign couple, out of his van.

Curiously, photos released by PR Phuket when the statement was released clearly showed a licensed taxi parked in an area in front of the main disabled terminal. No explanation was given as to why this was allowed.

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