Passport e-gates back online after outage causes delays at UK airports

A “nationwide issue” which caused huge delays at passport e-gates has been resolved, the Home Office has said.  Airports including Heathrow, Gatwick, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle and Manchester all confirmed a Border Force problem was causing delays with arrivals late on Tuesday. Pictures and videos on social media showed long queues.

One passenger told the BBC he spent longer queuing for passport control than he did on his flight from Lisbon.E-gates are automated gates that use facial recognition to check a person’s identity and allow them to enter the country without talking to a Border Force officer.

There are more than 270 of them in place at 15 air and rail ports in the UK, according to the government’s website, which also says they are supposed to “enable quicker travel into the UK”.

Due to their outage, staff were left manually processing passengers instead.

The Home Office, which oversees Border Force, said in a statement early on Wednesday: “eGates at UK airports came back online shortly after midnight.”

A spokesperson for the Home Office said the problems were caused by a “system network issue” and were first reported around 19:50BST, meaning the issues persisted for more than four hours.They added that “at no point was border security compromised, and there is no indication of malicious cyber activity”.

They extended apologies to “travellers caught up in disruption” and thanked “partners, including airlines for their co-operation and support” during the outage.

However, the problem did not appear to not just be affecting the e-gates themselves, as Belfast International Airport, which does not have them, said the Border Force “systems” had been impacted. By Wednesday morning, most flights at airports across the UK were shown to be departing and arriving on time.

Source: BBC

In other news – John Swinney to be sworn in as Scotland’s first minister

John Swinney will be sworn in as the seventh first minister of Scotland later. He is then expected to form his government, with cabinet posts confirmed in parliament on Thursday.

John Swinney

A “significant” role has been promised to former finance secretary, Kate Forbes, who chose not to run for the SNP leadership and backed Mr Swinney. Read more

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