The control tower at Sydney Airport has been evacuated, causing chaos at both the international and domestic terminals.
All flights in and out of the airport were grounded after the evacuation on Friday morning about 11.40.
Planes were circling over the airport as they were unable to land on the tarmac due to smoke being detected in the tower.
The evacuation was found to have been caused by a false alarm.
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The control tower at Sydney Airport has been evacuated and placed into lockdown (stock image)
One passenger reported that a pilot announced there had been a fire in the control tower
Planes were circling over the airport as they were unable to land on the tarmac due to smoke being detected in the tower
Hundreds of passengers were left stranded onboard planes waiting to take off.
One passenger reported that a pilot announced there had been a fire in the control tower.
Airservices Australia said the control tower was evacuated after smoke was detected.
‘There is a full ground stop in place with no aircraft departing or arriving at this time,’ Airservices Australia tweeted.
A Fire and Rescue NSW spokesperson said 20 people needed to be evacuated from the control tower, news.com.au reported.
‘When crews arrived they searched the tower and found no sign of fire. They then used thermal imaging cameras to detect the source of heat causing the smoke, and found it came from a battery backup system for the tower’s computers that had overheated,’ a spokesman said.
‘Crews removed the battery system, took it outside and hit it with a carbon dioxide cylinder.
‘After that they let everyone back in, all under an hour. No injuries occurred.’
The ‘systems issue’ affecting the control tower was resolved about 12pm, Nine News reported.
Passenger Matt Jorgensen said there was an announcement at the airport that a ‘fire indicator had been activated in the tower’.
‘However a few minutes later, Jetstar announced that it was a false alarm,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.
Airservices Australia said the control tower was evacuated after smoke was detected
Airservice Australia said they were processing arrivals at 12.19pm.
‘Aircraft are landing albeit at a slower rate. Nil depatures at this time,’ they tweeted.
Frustrated passengers vented their anger while waiting in long queues for delayed flights.
‘Everybody saves up for the school holidays… and all of these people are cancelled. It’s terrible,’ one passenger said.
Frustrated passengers vented their anger while waiting in long queues for delayed flights (stock image)
A passenger waiting to fly to Los Angeles said he could see fire trucks from a plane window.
‘People onboard are mainly bored and restless with kids crying and complaining,’ the passenger told the ABC.
‘We can see fire trucks from here but no smoke.’
The airport has since resumed normal operations but delays are expected for passengers.