Wednesday 4 August 2021

Immigration system failure affected passengers at the San Jose airport Monday

General failure in the immigration system in the early hours of Monday morning saw long lines outside the airport and delays in takeoffs

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QCOSTARICA –  In yet another system-wide failure in the immigration check-out, passengers looking to leave Costa Rica Monday morning by way of the Juan Santamaria international airport in San Jose had to endure long lines, and delays in flights.

View this Monday of the lines of passengers on the outskirts of the Juan Santamaría International Airport

Almost 1,000 passengers 900 passengers on seven flights were affected by a general failure.

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The situation caused lines of travelers of up to 200 meters outside the airport entrance, with the wait continuing inside at the police checkpoint.

The breakdown was at 3 am and although the system was restored by 7 am, still two and a half hours later, seven flights remained grounded awaiting boarding and departure, confirmed Aeris, the airport administrator.

The affected flights were:

  1. Avianca airline AV-626 bound for El Salvador, which took off at 7:51 am, two and a half hours late.
  2. United Airlines UA-1087, head for Denver, Colorado, which took off an hour and a half later than expected, at 7:58 am.
  3. American Airlines AA-1204, to Miami, endured an hour delay, finally leaving at 8 am.
  4. Copa Airlines flight CM-165 to Panama remained on the ground, departing at 8 am instead of 6:45 am.
  5. Delta Airlines DL-1972 bound for Los Angeles finally departed at 8 am.
  6. Volaris Costa Rica VOC-4054 ​ to Cancún (Mexico), finally  took off at 7:35 am.
  7. United Airlines UA-1097 to Houston, Texas scheduled to leave at 7:40 am, finally left at 9 am.

The director of Immigration – Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería General Directorate (DGME) – Raquel Vargas, explained the problem originated with the Radiográfica Costarricense S. A. (Racsa); a subsidiary of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), who operates the immigration databse.

Vargas said the system failure was mainly in the check-out of minors. In Costa Rica, minors require the permission of parents or guardians to be able to leave the country, to which immigration maintains a database of the documentation.

Vargas added that they are working to ensure failures do not occur and on alternate systems so as not to delay flights and passengers from leaving and/or entering the country.

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The last systemwide failure on April 27.

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