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Suvarnabhumi Airport : Flight Status

Sunday, September 16, 2007

900 illegal taxi drivers, guides held

Airport continuing serious crackdown

More than 900 illegal taxi drivers and tour guides were arrested at Suvarnabhumi airport in June and July as the airport is working harder to ensure passenger safety. Suvarnabhumi airport director Serirat Prasutanont said the crackdown had brought illegal taxi and guide activities down by 70-80%.

The airport sought police help in cracking down on illegal operators preying on visitors. In June, police made 235 arrests, and in July, 686 arrests.

With more than 10 people arrested more than once, the Airports of Thailand (AoT)'s legal division is exploring how to bar any people arrested more than three times for such an offence from entering the airport premises.

He admitted such illegal operations had damaged the country's image because some customers were over-charged, assaulted and robbed.

Mr Serirat said the airport is also preparing records of transportation and tourism agents and their vehicles' registration numbers.

Notices would be put up at the airport displaying taxi charges for trips to other provinces as fixed by the Land Transport Department. For a destination within Bangkok, the charge would be as shown by the meter, plus the 50-baht airport charge. Mr Serirat added that any taxi drivers found to have overcharged a passenger would be prohibited from picking up passengers at the airport for at least 10 days.

The crackdown has been a blessing for the legal limousine and taxi business. Limousine service operators now made 850-900 trips a day, up from 700 previously.

Taxi trips rose from 4,500 to 6,000 a day.

Starting next month, taxi pick-ups would be relocated from the first floor to the second floor of the terminal, where passengers arrive, he said.

Some Bangkok Mass Transit Authority buses would be allowed to pick up and drop off passengers on the first and fourth floors of the terminal.

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