The Australian Border Force has warned of delays in passenger processing at international airports, with ABF staff forced to resort to manual processing.
A spokesperson told Computerworld Australia that the ABF was working with the Department of Home Affairs to “resolve an IT systems outage impacting inbound and outbound passenger processing at international airports.”
The spokesperson said that additional ABF staff have been deployed to process passengers and to minimise delays.
“Passengers are encouraged to arrive at airports early to allow additional time for processing,” the spokesperson said.
A spokesperson from Melbourne Airport confirmed the system was impacting passenger processing.
“Both arriving and departing passengers are affected by this outage, with ABF manually processing passengers both inbound and out,” the spokesperson said.
“We’re extremely appreciative of the patience and good grace shown by passengers this morning and we would like to thank everyone for sticking with us during this period.”
The Melbourne Airport spokesperson advised anyone who is flying internationally to still head to the airport as per their original plans.
“Within the terminal we’ll be continuing to make public address announcements every few minutes, so please pay attention to these announcements for the latest updates,” the spokesperson said.
Low cloud cover has also been affecting arrivals at the airport.
“Brisbane International is being impacted by the nation-wide Australian Border Force systems outage,” a spokesperson for the airport said.
The airport was notified of the outage just after 6am. Delays will be “lengthy,” the spokesperson said.
On social media, travellers complained of thousands of people waiting to be processed at Sydney Airport.
@flySYD so, Sydney Airport you should be ashamed. 7am, all the international flights are landing, the epassport gates aren't working and 2000 people are jammed into your poxy arrivals hall. pic.twitter.com/lsGJy5Wmv0— David Berger (@davebergie) April 28, 2019
In 2017 the government awarded a three-year, $22.5 million contract as part of its push to roll out a “contactless traveller” approach for Australia’s airports.
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