Longer wait times at Indonesia airports due to systems outage; travellers advised to arrive early


Travellers queueing to clear immigration at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on June 20. - PPUTEURI/X

JAKARTA: Passengers departing from airports in Indonesia have been advised to arrive early, as an ongoing systems disruption to several government services slowed immigration clearance.

On Thursday (June 20), the authorities said that a national data-related issue was causing disruptions at its airports, while passengers reported hours-long queues as officers manually took down their details on pen and paper.

The directorate-general of immigration said in an Instagram post at about 6pm on June 20 that there has been a “temporary disruption” to Indonesia’s National Data Centre server.

The server, which is managed by Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Informatics, carries a database of information that government services use to function.

Passengers were advised to arrive earlier at the airports, in anticipation of the slowdown in inspection processes.

The post apologised for the inconvenience.

Director-general of immigration Silmy Karim said that travellers can still pass through Indonesia’s borders without any issue, but that the process will take longer, given how the immigration inspections have to be done manually.

Speaking to news site Kompas.com on June 20, Silmy said that the disruption will continue until the data servers recover, and that efforts are being made to use back-up data to restore some services. He did not elaborate on a likely timeline for this.

The same day, Indonesian Minister of Communication and Information Budi Arie Setiadi told reporters that the process of repairing the public services was being carried out in stages.

No concrete details, including the cause for the disruption, have been given so far.

Photos on social media of Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on June 20 showed long queues of people waiting to clear immigration, with more than 50 people in a line that was snaking outside the departure hall and into the public area.

X user Bimo Anindya was one of the passengers affected and uploaded images of his experience arriving in Jakarta on June 20.

He said that the disruptions started from around 4pm, and that he was still stuck in line to clear immigration after more than 2½ hours.

Bimo added that the queues for both local and foreign arrivals had converged, and that all checks were being done manually.

When The Straits Times visited the airport on the morning of June 21, the situation appeared to have improved, with most passengers saying they did not have to wait significantly longer to clear immigration.

An immigration officer who did not want to be named said: “The queue remains, but (the checks) ran quite smoothly. It was not so crowded at this hour.”

Muhammad Syarif, 54, a personnel trainer in an automotive company, was flying to Bangkok and told ST that an officer at the immigration desk took his data manually with pen and paper when he checked in.

“It took 15 minutes for me to queue, and the data recording lasted less than five minutes,” he said.

Indonesian state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura Indonesia said in a statement on June 21 that as of 1pm, immigration clearance was still being done manually.

The firm’s corporate secretary Rahadian Yogisworo said that additional manpower has been activated to ensure the smooth running of its processes.

“We also appeal to airlines serving international flights to convey to prospective passengers that they should arrive earlier than the scheduled departure to minimise queues during the immigration process,” added Rahadian.

The latest disruption comes a year after a leak from the National Data Centre caused the private information of some 34 million Indonesian passports to be sold online. - The Straits Times/ANN

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