Australian Border Force is refusing to explain what caused a failure at passport control gates that caused significant delays at airports around the country on Monday morning.
Passengers at Sydney Airport’s international terminal were met with long queues as they attempted to use passport security e-gates on Monday morning, with the line spilling out into the departure lounge area.
An ABF spokesperson said the outage affected services nationwide.
At Melbourne International Airport, a spokesman confirmed there had been delays in processing customers and longer queues at the airport, but he said no flights had been delayed.
Kings Ford Smith Airport Sydney International departures are delayed due to power outage affecting the security screening process at e passport gates. Australian border force are processing departure passengers manually. Melbourne Airport tullamarine is also affected. pic.twitter.com/fsNr6ptRO6
— Rodney©️®️™️ (@rodney0r_) July 15, 2019
On Twitter, one woman described the queues as “absolutely crazy” and other passengers posted videos of long lines forming at immigration control at Sydney Airport.
ABF provided updates in short statements and said “staff are working hard to minimise earlier delays caused by an earlier outage”.
After a couple of frustrating hours for travellers, the ABF said all issues “have now been rectified”.
“We apologise for an inconvenience this has caused travellers,” an ABF spokesperson said.
However, it did not provide an explanation for what caused the incident and told the ABC it had no plans to respond to requests for further information.
— Ten🍀C96 1日目西ら-08a (@eternals) July 14, 2019
Monday morning’s delays at the airport follow a weekend of disruption due to damaging winds that caused the cancellation of over 50 flights and left only one runway operational.
Jetstar reported on Monday morning that several domestic flights had been cancelled due to strong winds – some Jetstar customers had already been stranded for days.
“We appreciate delays are frustrating, however, safety is our highest priority,” a statement from the airline said.
Monday’s issue comes after the SmartGate passport control machines went down across the country in April, causing mass delays.