Passengers should soon be able to re-enter Auckland International Airport after a fire sparked evacuations this evening.

Major disruption unfolded at the airport when a fire in an air-conditioning vent meant
the international terminal's check in, departures and baggage hall had to be evacuated.

Unprocessed arriving passengers were left stranded in planes, on buses and behind the customs and passport control areas during the incident, which began just before 6pm.

Those who were departing and had already gone through customs and passport control hadn't been evacuated but processing of passengers had stopped.


An airport spokesman said the fire had been put out by a sprinkler system.

The airport tweeted just after 8.30pm that emergency services had just given the all-clear.

"Staff have re-entered the check-in area of the terminal. Passengers will be asked to enter the building soon. We'll let you know when that re-entry will occur.

"Thank you for your continuing patience."

A person at the airport wrote on Twitter earlier that he'd "Just got loaded on to buses on the airside. No idea where we are going ..."

At 7.20pm he added that there were people on phones "cancelling various plans for the evening".

Air New Zealand told the Herald that as of 8.25pm six flights had been delayed as a result of the evacuation.