Eyewitnesses told Stuff they believed thousands of passengers have been disrupted. Some members of the public have been left outside in the cold and many were stuck inside the airport.
Aside from an ongoing evacuation alarm, no information has been given and passengers have been threatened with a $1000 fine for taking videos and using their phones.
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“Whoever is responsible for this debacle deserves a kick up the backside,” one frustrated passenger told Stuff.
“No information just this ongoing evacuation alarm, but no evacuations happening, more importantly, no information being passed on to us.”
An airport spokesperson confirmed a fire began in an air conditioning vent but was extinguished by the sprinkler system.
Because of the fire, the international check-in area and the arrival baggage hall have both been evacuated.
Cory, a New Zealand passenger who arrived in Auckland from the Gold Coast, said he had been stuck at the airport for two hours with no information.
He was now sitting in one of six buses waiting at an evacuation point at the end of a runway, he said.
“Not one person has said anything to us. It’s frustrating.
“Earlier, we came to the carousel to get our bags and we were taken outside to the bus stop.”
He was shifted along outside in the cold, before six buses turned up and took the passengers.
“There’s probably about 6 or 700 in the buses but everyone on the other side would be affected too. We are on the airside,” he said.
The airport’s emergency services team is on site doing an assessment.
A second alert was triggered just after 7pm. Emergency services were completing a thorough check on the air-conditioning unit.
Auckland Airport said in a tweet: “The International check-in area and International Arrivals, Baggage Hall, are still in evacuation.”
“We are awaiting approval from the Emergency Services crew before we can allow everyone back into the evacuated areas. Thank you for your patience.”
Fire and emergency has been contacted.