Taoyuan Airport mulls ways to help passengers save time: spokesman

Taipei-As Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TTIA) faces ever longer passenger check-ins and security checks due to serious passenger capacity overloading, officials are mulling ways to speed up operations and as part of that planning a self-baggage-check-in mechanism will be introduced at terminal two.

However, the plan will not be implemented until after the completion of expansion work at the end of the year, said on Sunday Lee Jian-kuo, spokesman for Taoyuan International Airport Corp. (TIAC), TTIA's operator

In addition to introducing additional check-in counters, self-baggage-check-in counters will also be set up next year in terminal two, allowing passengers who have already checked-in to check in their own luggage in an effort to speed up operations and divert passenger traffic from customs clearance, according to Lee.

There is no space for self-baggage-check-in counters at terminal one, while the under-construction third terminal will have a large number of self check-in machines and self-check-in-baggage facilities when completed in 2020 as scheduled.

With regards the speed of security clearance, the limitations are related to aviation police manpower, but whenever there are a large number of passengers, extra manpower will be deployed to use all available security check channels.

Currently, a self-baggage-check-in service is only available at Taoyuan Airport MRT's A1 Taipei Main Station, used by about 30 percent of passengers heading to TTIA, according to the airport's statistics.

As the country's largest airport, TTIA handled up to 45 million passengers in 2017, exceeding its designated passenger handling capacity by about 10 million, which caused serious overloading and crowded conditions on a daily basis, according to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA).

Airline companies have found that sometimes passengers get stuck in queues at customs when boarding gates are about to close and have had to ask custom officers to give priority to those passengers and rush them to board their flights.

According to a photo provided an individual who departed from TTIA last week, terminal two was crowded with long lines of people waiting to go through security checks.

The person said it took about 40 minutes to complete the security check.

TTIA faces mounting pressure as passenger handling load increases, especially when Lunar New Year is to fall in next month and peak passenger volume.

The number of passengers has increased too quickly and although the number of mainland Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan has fallen the number of international visitors continues to grow, said Lee.

At present, the number of passengers on weekdays is about 110,000-120,000, with over 130,000 on peak days during Lunar New Year holiday for the past two years, according to TIAC, adding that the peak period for the Lunar New Year will be 1-2 days before New Year's Eve.

Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council