To facilitate passengers who were travelling, Bhutan Telecom (BT) began providing free Wi-Fi at the departure terminal of the Drukair airport for about two months now.

Director at Department of Aviation and Transport, Karma Wangchuk said that this service was enabled for users. “These services are one of the key components in running an international airport. These services are not luxury but have become a necessity in every international airport.”

He said that with time technology changes, which makes the latest developments anywhere possible. “Mobile phone is a key component for every traveller. Whenever we are out travelling, we check our emails, hotel bookings, ticketing everything through mobile. So to be able to do that, free Wi-Fi is important in an airport. The charging station is also equally important.”

BT’s General Manager for marketing, Penjore said it was not planned to coincide with the election. “It was started about a couple months ago actually.”

He said that BT was looking at the bigger picture, which is in the best interest of the country. “BT also aims to create customer value. We will look into exploring covering places like hospitals although there is no concrete plan at the moment.”

Providing these services was discussed about eight months ago, he said.

Karma Wangchuk said that regarding the charging station; BT was the first one providing the service at the moment. “Regarding free Wi-Fi, both BT and Tashi Cell had provided it few times. But now BT had come in full force and had been covering the whole departure terminal building.”

He said additional services would portray a good image of the country. “To facilitate passengers, we have done away with some procedures of filling forms.”

He said that the organisation was working with the airlines and immigration for automatic check-in and checkout. “However, these are all subject to the availability of budget. Whatever limited resources we have, we are trying to use in the best possible manner.”

There are about 10 charging points and four USB cable connections.

One access point could handle a maximum of about 300 passengers. There are four access points.

To use the Wi-Fi, a passenger or user needs to log in their personal details such as name, nationality, and mobile number among others. To provide opportunity for other users to avail the service, a user would get logged out of the Wi-Fi after an hour.

Rinchen Zangmo  | Paro