'System slowness' causes disruption at Changi Airport, Woodlands and Tuas Checkpoints

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority expresses regret for the delays caused by the system disruption

Disruption in Singapore checkpoints causes delays for land and air travellers
Disruption in Singapore checkpoints causes delays for land and air travellers. (PHOTO: FB/ Mat Schrödinger and FB/Phuong Hua)

SINGAPORE— Immigration clearance at Singapore checkpoints across Changi Airport, Tuas and Woodlands experienced a sizeable disruption, causing delays for land and air travellers on Friday (31 March).

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) announced the issue in a Facebook post at 11:28am, expressing regret for the inconvenience caused to travellers.

"ICA is currently experiencing system slowness at selected passenger clearance checkpoints. Clearance is still ongoing. Delays are expected and travellers are advised to postpone all non-essential travel, where applicable," wrote ICA in an updated Facebook post at 12:03pm.

Changi Airport delays

At 12:30pm, Changi Airport posted on Facebook and Twitter that passengers should expect delays and approach the ground staff if assistance is needed.

It also noted that automatic lanes for both departing and arriving passengers across terminals at Changi Airport were affected.

"An immigration system disruption has affected the auto-lanes for departing and arriving passengers across the terminals. Passengers should expect delays and approach our ground staff if assistance is needed," it added.

Changi Airport also advised travellers to arrive at the airport earlier, in view of the immigration system disruption.

A picture of a crowd at Changi Airport due to a system disruption.
The crowd at 11:53am at Changi Airport posted by a commenter on one of ICA's Facebook updates. (PHOTO: FB/ C Tse Yang)

Off-duty officers recalled, manual lanes activated

In a Facebook post at 2:03pm, ICA updated that all automatic lanes for departure at all Changi Airport terminals have been affected, and selected automated lanes at Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints are also impacted.

"There is no disruption to immigration clearance at our coastal checkpoints," it added.

To manage the situation and ensure law and order, off-duty officers have been recalled to provide additional support.

Travellers were advised by ICA to cooperate with officers on-site and should factor in additional time for immigration clearance.

Issue seemingly resolved, investigations ongoing

ICA posted an update at 3:58pm, noting that the immigration clearance disruption at all checkpoints have been resolved.

It also stated that investigations are ongoing to determine its root cause.

Travellers vent their frustration on social media

The disruption caused frustration among travellers, with some taking to social media to express their concerns.

Steven Guan, a Facebook user, posted a picture of Changi Airport's Terminal 4 crowd, noting that it was 'very chaotic' at the terminal and there was 'very little communication'.

Another Facebook user by the name of Phuong Hua also shared a picture of queues at Terminal 1's departure terminal in the afternoon, saying, "The queue is super long, but manual counters clear up fast."

Meanwhile, queues were also reported at Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints around 11 am.

A Facebook user going by the name of Mat Schrödinger, who appeared to be stuck in the congestion, cautioned others about the delay at 12:22 pm.

"System down at ICA. Avoid travelling cycling border during this time. Changi airport also affected," he said.

For more updates on the matter, travellers are advised to check ICA's Facebook page.

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