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.”
Passenger Elena earlier told 3AW radio the issue is causing long delays at immigration at Melbourne Airport.
“About four planes have landed, I reckon there’s 500-600 people here.
“It’s just ridiculous.”
Pictures posted on social media showed long queues at Sydney and Melbourne airports for passengers arriving and trying to depart. Frustrated travellers described the scenes as “chaos” and “a circus”.
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