On January 24th, 2024, Thai national media reported a biometric system used by the Thai Immigration Bureau crashed at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, causing a long queue of check-out passengers.
Pol. Gen. Wisanu Prasatthong-osot, the president of Airports of Thailand Co Ltd., performed a field inspection to determine the cause of the system failure.
It was found that the biometric system malfunctioned at 4:30 AM after the software was updated, Thai media reported.
As a result, the computers at the immigration checkpoints were delayed, causing the passport check-out process to take longer. Meanwhile, domestic automatic self-check-out channel systems were down, and many passengers were stuck in long queues at the checkpoints. This also happened at Phuket Airport.
The immigration officials manually checked passports through the Suvarnabhumi screening system, looking for criminals and overstaying individuals. Airport staff members facilitated passengers by handing out water and screening passengers at risk of missing their flights in the priority lane.
Even though the biometric system was now back to normal, the Royal Thai Immigration Bureau sought to improve the operation in the long term and ensure this doesn’t happen frequently.