E-passport fail causing delays at Australian airports

Stock image.
Stock image.

PASSENGERS flying out of Australia are being told to head to the airport as planned, despite a computer systems outage affecting inbound and outbound travellers.

The Australian Border Force says it’s working with the Department of Home Affairs to resolve the IT systems outage affecting SmartGate passport control machines, meaning passengers must be manually processed.

“Additional ABF staff have been deployed to process passengers and to minimise delays,” an Australian Border Force spokesman said on Monday.

A Melbourne Airport spokeswoman said travellers should 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,” she said in a statement to AAP.

“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.”

A Perth Airport spokesperson said they were experiencing no delays on either inbound or outbound flights.

When asked whether the airport was anticipating delays the spokesperson said: “It depends how long the outage lasts.”