Customs Computer Outage Delays Travelers at US Airports 


Thousands of travelers entering the United States experienced delays Friday because of a technology outage affecting Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) processing systems. 

Reuters reported that in a tweet at 6:37 p.m. EDT, CBP said that the affected systems were “coming back online” and that travelers were being processed. The agency said there was “no indication” that the disruption was “malicious in nature.” 

Earlier, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York said via Twitter that CPB agents were manually processing travelers.  

Travelers posted images and video on social media showing long lines at airports.  

The outage affected only inbound U.S. international flights, not departures. The delays affected both foreign visitors to the United States as well as U.S. citizens arriving from abroad.  

But the Federal Aviation Administration, Reuters reported, said the outage caused no changes in flights. 

On an average day, CBP processes around 358,000 air passengers and crew. 

This was not the CPB system’s first outage. It was out of service for four hours on Jan. 2, 2017, Reuters said. A Homeland Security inspector general’s office report issued in November of that year found “inadequate CBP software capacity testing, leaving the potential for recurrence of processing errors.” 

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