A "longer waiting time" is to be expected at airports this Monday, Paris Aéroport warned on X (formerly Twitter) this morning. The cause was a breakdown of "the computer system used by the border police" which affected "the Parafe airlocks."
These devices allow the automated control of travellers entering and leaving the Schengen area. To use them, you must have a biometric passport and be a European citizen or "a national of certain third countries with a biometric passport", explains the Service Public website. This system "makes it possible to carry out border crossing formalities in an automated, fluid and fast manner", but it is not mandatory. It is also possible to go through the classic checks.
⚠️ #CDG #Orly | A nationwide system outage. The information technology used by the Border Police currently affects the Parafe airlocks. The teams are mobilized to resolve this incident as quickly + as possible.
Longer waiting time to be expected at departure/arrival.
+ more info to follow.
— Paris Airport (@ParisAeroport) November 20, 2023
However, the current outage will lead to a "lengthening of waiting times for departures/arrivals", warns Paris Airport, which manages Paris-Orly and Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle. On X, one user claims that "hundreds of people" find themselves queuing at border control. "We are sorry for this wait," replies Paris Aéroport.
Social action underway this Monday
Parafe's system is used in several French airports, but also in train stations and the port of Calais. Only Paris Aéroport has, for the moment, reported this computer system failure.
At the same time, air traffic is already disrupted on Monday due to a nationwide industrial action. "Cancellations and delays are to be expected" throughout the day, warns the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, which invites travelers to postpone their flights.