The Immigration computer system at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was finally fixed at 5:10pm yesterday after more than 30 hours of system malfunctions, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) said, one day earlier than it had previously estimated.
The systems malfunction was first discovered on Monday at 6:45am. Kaohsiung International Airport, Kinmen Airport and Nangan Airport on Matsu were also affected, but their problems were fixed late on Monday night.
NIA Chief Hsieh Li-gong (謝立功) said “faulty hard drives” were responsible for the system problems, dispelling rumors that a disgruntled individual was responsible for the glitch. All hard drives in both terminals at Taoyuan had been replaced by yesterday afternoon.
The severity of the damage had led officials to initially estimate the repairs would take another 48 hours to completely restore information, he said.
The agency said it increased efforts to prevent anyone from entering or leaving the country illegally during the crisis and promised to provide a detailed report once the problem had been fixed.
The crash affected tens of thousands of passengers, the NIA said, calling it the worst computer glitch experienced by the agency in the past five years.
To accommodate the long lineups, the NIA opened 40 immigration booths and dispatched additional immigration officers to hand-record passengers’ travel information, which would be entered into the database once the systems were back online.
While the NIA said the average wait per passenger was three to five minutes, some passengers interviewed by TV reporters said they had waited as long as 20 minutes. Some flights were delayed to allow enough time for passengers to board.
“It’s hard to believe that such a glitch would happen in Taiwan,” a traveler said.
Meanwhile, Government Information Office Minister Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) quoted Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) as saying that the Ministry of the Interior should improve its crisis management capabilities and its computer equipment to prevent similar incidents from reoccurring.
Liu urged the ministry to implement measures to deal with security breaches that may have occurred during the computer crash.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chen Ken-te (陳根德) said the glitch was the result of longstanding management problems.
Chen said the legislature should expedite the passage of a draft Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport special statute transforming the airport into a corporation, which in his view would enhance its competitiveness and replace the present bureaucratic system with a professional management team.
KMT Legislator Yang Li-huan (楊麗環) said such an incident should not have occurred, adding that the ministry needed to identify the causes and conduct a thorough review of its computer systems.
If the poor quality of its computer systems is found to be the cause of the problem, the government should revise the rules for procurement bids. The current approach whereby bidders who offer the lowest price win a project often leads contractors to compromise on quality, Yang said.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said the computer crash lasted far too long and had jeopardized national security as well as the nation’s image, adding that the NIA had failed in its duties and should be held responsible.
On Sunday, passengers on 11 outbound flights had to leave the country without their luggage after a luggage conveyer belt broke down for almost two hours.
In 2007, Taoyuan Airport was rated below “three-stars” by Skytrax , a UK-based airport evaluation group, but was elevated to three stars last year.
Also last year, the airport joined a global survey of airports to gain insights into the status and competitiveness of the nation’s leading airport. The result of the Airport Service Quality Program, held by Airports Council International, is scheduled for release in March.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SHIH HSIU-CHUAN AND RICH CHANG
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted