SmartGate outage hits Australian airports

Travellers at Brisbane and Sydney airports were welcomed on arrival with long lines and confused faces as Border Force's SmartGate system went down.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Malfunctioning SmartGates are back online in Brisbane and Sydney international airport terminals after an outage left passengers unable to use the SmartGates to enter the country.

Delays experienced after a technical glitch early on Thursday morning meant passenger processing had to be done manually.

"Technical issues with SmartGates at #Aus int airports this morning have been resolved. Thank you for patience," a tweet from Australian Border Force said at 11.38am.

However, even when the SmartGate system is functional, travellers have experienced delays this week thanks to rolling industrial action in the nation's airports.

Last week, the department overseeing Border Force, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, was found by the Full Court of the Australian Federal Court to have conducted a "procedurally unfair" assessment of the impact of a data breach on almost 10,000 asylum seekers.

In February last year, the department accidentally published the details of almost 10,000 asylum seekers, including their full names, dates of birth, genders, nationalities, periods of immigration detention, locations, boat arrival information, and the reasons why an entrant was classified as having travelled into Australia "unlawfully".

The breach occurred due to a DIBP staff member who had copied and pasted a Microsoft Excel chart into a Word document, with the underlying data rendering the chart in Excel then embedded in the Word document.

With AAP

Editorial standards