Melbourne Airport’s security screening system has suffered from a technological problem that forced Australian Border Force (ABF) officials to manually check the overseas passengers through passport control.
The airport requested the travellers to give additional time for security and passport control and added that no flights were delayed due to the problem.
Melbourne Airport reported that the issue with the SmartGates was raised shortly after 4am and was resolved by around 10.45am on 20 February.
SmartGates are being used at the airport to process passengers using passport control that works on facial recognition and ePassport technology.
An airport spokeswoman told the Herald Sun that the technical glitch meant passengers had to wait up to six minutes to clear security checks compared to the usual time of up to three minutes.
To deal with the situation, the ABF used additional resources to help move people through. They urged passengers to arrive at the airport ahead of their flight to allow enough time for security check.
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Melbourne Airport welcomed 577,000 travellers during this summer, backed by record number of international arrivals. It is now planning for upgrades and expansions in a bid to manage a growing number of passengers in the future.
Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi said it was great to kick-start the year with record-breaking passenger volumes.
“This year, we have ambitious plans to build on the success of 2018 by upgrading many aspects of the airport to improve the overall traveller experience, catering to our growing passenger volumes which are set to reach almost 70 million people by 2038.
“We will be working with our tourism partners to attract new carriers and services while focusing on expanding our runway capabilities to ensure we can keep up with Victoria’s demands for air travel.”