A failure the immigration control systems on Monday affected the arrival and departure of passengers at the Juan Santamaría (San Jose) in Alajuela and Daniel Oduber, in Liberia, Guanacaste airports.
Civil Aviation (Aviación Civil) reported that the failure was in the International Police (Interpol) systems that consults “impedimentos de salida” – impediments on leaving the country – and checks on arriving passengers.
The Dirección de Migración y Extranjería (DGME) – immigration service – confirmed the failure occurring around 11 am on Monday, peak period at both airports.
By 1 pm the systems were restored; however, there were delays in some flights.
The system failure did not mean the immigration process was vulnerable, rather the process of checks continued via the Internet, that takes longer to consult.
“Being a third-party consultation system, the consultation is applied via the web, while the officials of the Information Technology Management resolve the connection drop.
“Up to now the wait per person is one or two minutes in the consultation; However, as the rush hour is working under the web consultation protocol to reduce the impact so that they not lose their flights,” said the DGME.
Not the first time
This is not the first time that long lines are generated at airports and land border crossings due to immigration systems failure.
The last time was on October 14. On that day eight flights experienced delays while the techs at the immigration services worked to restore the system.
Also, on January 3, there were failures in the entry system for the registration of passengers and that caused delays in flights and long lines of passengers at both two airports.
In Liberia, for example, 12 flights were delayed and in San Jose, the management company, Aeris, did not disclose the number of flights delays, just spoke of the long lines at the airport. On that day, the failure lasted 30 minutes.
A check on departing passengers at both the Liberia and San Jose airports is done in the background. Once the airline has closed the flight (60 minutes prior to departure), the immigration service will then do a check on all departing passengers before the flight cleared for takeoff.
The checks include a review of any outstanding warrants from the Judiciary, Interpol, exit impediments (typically for non-payment of child support or alimony) and a review of exit permits for minor children.
In the “old days” at the San Jose airport departing passengers had their passports stamped by an immigration official in the way to the boarding gates.
The problem was raised for 30 minutes, between 12:25 p.m. m. and 12:55 p. m. of that day.
The controls carried out at the points of departure from the country include a check of security systems, Interpol, exit impediments and review of exit permits for minors.