As the airport industry is gradually being integrated into the world fast growing IT climate. The concept of passengers experience is now said to begin from the home or at a point when a passenger decides to embark on a journey. Interfacing with the airport and the airline is a matter for click and keyboard buttons. The swift and ease of IT interface to air transportation service delivery has recently be tested in an incident that left passengers going through hours of que for passport processing at the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports.
Computer software for Advance Passenger Processing system which is a global system that allows airlines to check passports developed problems that led to long check-in queues for passengers, with some waiting up to an hour.
It’s believed that the Society International Telecommunications Aeronautiques (SITA) system went down about 7.30am (AEDT) before being restored about 11am, impacting travellers entering and departing Australia
SITA confirmed the software problem was not due to a cyber-attack and was caused by a major telecom failure of a top provider in the datacenter in the UK and had quickly responded to the failure by implementing an alternative communications link and resumed services. ‘Our teams continue to monitor the situation,” a spokesman said.
“We regret any impact this incident has had on our customers and passengers. Our priority remains, as always, to ensure a stable system so that our customers can conduct their businesses efficiently and effectively. We are currently conducting a full investigation to discover the root cause and though the service is currently restored, our team remains on high alert.”
Some airlines were able to check-in passengers manually but the issue caused delays. This incident could be the first step toward assessing the resilience of the airport industry to respond to cyberattack which a lot of people thought it was.