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E-passport issue causes airport delays

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Passengers flying out of Australia are being told to head to the airport as planned, despite a computer systems outage affecting inbound and outbound travellers.

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."

ABC reporter Monte Bovill tweeted that it took him just over an hour to make it through the passport check at Melbourne Airport.

"I've made it through," he tweeted.

SmartGates are used at nine Australian international airports and use facial recognition technology and the passenger's ePassport to check identity.

© AAP 2019

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