Passport checks at Belfast International disrupted after IT issues bring several UK airports to a standstill

Belfast International Airport. Photo: Liam McBurney/PABelfast International Airport. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA
Belfast International Airport. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA
Passport checks at Belfast International Airport were reported to be back to normal on Wednesday morning after widespread IT issues caused disruption at several UK airports.

There were severe delays at passport e-gates on Tuesday at several airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick, Edinburgh and Manchester, Border Force confirmed.

E-gates are the automated entry systems that operate using facial recognition software to check a person's identity without engaging with an officer from Border Force.

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Although Belfast International does not operate e-gates, Border Force operations at the airport were still impacted.

On Tuesday night, a message posted on social media said: “Border Force is experiencing a network wide IT issue. We are working with them to deploy contingency plans to process internationally arriving flights while the situation is resolved. We apologise passengers who may experience longer processing times.”

On Wednesday morning, Belfast International Airport tweeted: “The UK wide Border Force IT issue has now been resolved. Thank you for your patience.”

The Home Office, which oversees Border Force, said on Wednesday that the "e-Gates at UK airports came back online shortly after midnight."

A Home Office spokesperson said the problems were caused by a "system network issue".

They added: “At no point was border security compromised, and there is no indication of malicious cyber activity.”

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