Phuket Airport Director Phet Chan-charoen made a statement on Sunday after mass circulation Thai Rath newspaper reported that an unnamed ex-minster is criticizing the airport for allowing female security staff to use hand-held metal detectors to search monks, instead of strictly limiting that process to male inspectors.
We have investigated the incident.
It occurred on May 1 when a monk walked through the standard, arched metal detector. That detector produces a loud alarm when activated, as happened in the case with this monk.
After such an event, use of a hand-held detector is required for verification.
But the woman who then used the hand-held detector in this incident, Ms Nureeta Tabasa of our contractor ASM Management Co Ltd, did not do that check until the monk granted her permission for it.
Additionally, Ms Nureeta did not allow the hand-held detector to touch the monk's body, Director Phet announced.
He added that the airport does not ignore problems like this and repeatedly reminds staff of what they can and cannot do with passengers, particularly with monks and priests.
During the week of May 6-12, we trained the staff again with emphasis on avoiding issues like this.
We are thankful for passenger suggestions and continue to strive to improve our service on an ongoing basis,he said.