Key passport system goes down

Flights delayed after Advance Passenger Processing outage hits Australian airports

Update 11:20am AEST: The APP system is back online, according to Melbourne Airport. “The Advanced Passenger Processing (APP) system is back online and all airlines are now able to check-in passengers for international flights,” an airport spokesperson said. “We may have some lagging delays as this morning’s congestion is worked through, so travellers are advised to check with their airline or the Melbourne Airport website (melbourneairport.com.au) for up to date flight information.”

Australian airports are experiencing delays due to an outage of the system that provides Advance Passenger Processing (APP).

The APP system is used track the entry and departure of travellers and airline crew (the system is also used for international cruise ships).

The system is intended to ensure that people who don't have authority to travel to Australia (or to another country) do not board a flight. The outage has affected check-in for international flights departing Australia.

“The Department is aware of an external system outage with the Society International Telecommunications Aeronautiques (SITA) system, this will affect travellers entering and departing Australia,” a spokesperson from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection told Computerworld.

The department will deploy Australian Border Force officers to minimise the impact on passengers, the spokesperson said.

“Passengers are advised to contact their airline for further information and to allow sufficient time to be processed at the airport.”

“This system is used globally, so the issue affects many other airports as well as Melbourne,” a spokesperson for Melbourne Airport told Computerworld.

“Melbourne Airport is asking anyone flying internationally today to please contact your airline for an update on individual flights, or visit melbourneairport.com.au for the current status of the system outage.”

Sydney and Brisbane airports have confirmed they are affected by the problem.

“Completing APP checks enables airlines to meet the Australian Government's APP reporting requirements and those of other governments, and to confirm whether a passenger or crew has authority to travel to Australia,” according to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The deparment has manual procedures (PDF) for airlines to follow in case of APP outages.


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