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Gunman in custody after firing multiple shots at check-in area at Canberra Airport

Footage posted to social media shows a man being detained by police at Canberra Airport. (Facebook/Walter Olson)

Passengers have been allowed to re-enter Canberra Airport hours after a shooting incident inside the terminal prompted its evacuation.

A man is in custody after firing multiple shots in the check-in area of Canberra Airport.

The airport was evacuated and planes were grounded for about three hours on Sunday afternoon as police recovered the firearm and swept the terminal. 

No one was injured during the incident. 

ACT Policing Detective Acting Superintendent Dave Craft said the man entered the airport at about 1:30pm on Sunday and sat near the glass windows of the departures check-in area.

"After approximately five minutes this male has removed the firearm from his possession and let off approximately five rounds," he said.  

"From what I can see from the crime scene, the male has let the shots off at the glass within the terminal. 

"There were no shots directed at people ... customers or staff."

Three bullet holes can be seen in the glass windows of the departures hall.

Bullet holes in panes of glass at Canberra Airport. (ABC News: Ian Cutmore)

Detective Acting Superintendent Craft said police believed the man acted alone and that there was no ongoing threat to the community.  

"We have no idea of any motivation," he said.

"At this stage, it is our understanding the male arrived at the airport and did not go through any flight screening process."

He said the man was believed to be the only person responsible for the incident.

ACT Policing's Detective Inspector Dave Craft says no one was injured after a gunman fired five rounds.

Witness recalls 'terrifying' experience as she took cover 

ABC reporter Lily Thomson heard the shots and realised something was wrong when people started screaming "run".

"I saw this grandma with a baby and the fear in her face and I knew it was something serious," she said.

"So we all ran and I stayed with that grandma and her baby and hid behind an information desk. We stayed there for a couple of minutes until security told us to evacuate out to the car park.

"Everyone was hiding behind chairs and people were running.

"It was terrifying. We didn't know what was going on. The look on people's faces was quite terrifying."

Police guard the entrance to Canberra Airport after a gunman opened fire inside the terminal.  (ABC News: Ian Cutmore)

Passengers forced to wait in the cold, on the tarmac

The airport was evacuated and about five planes were grounded as police swept the entire terminal and interviewed witnesses.

Passengers on five planes were stranded on the tarmac while the airport was locked down. (ABC News: Mark Alexander)

Detective Acting Superintendent Craft said police had worked closely with airport staff to safely reopen the airport.

"Police have processed the crime scene," he said.

"I just need to reassure people that the airport is safe, that ACT Policing has responded and there is no ongoing threat to the community or to passengers who are arriving and departing."

Canberra Airport said some flights had been cancelled or rescheduled as a result of the incident and it advised travellers to check with their airline before going to the airport.

Finance Minister and ACT senator, Katy Gallagher, took to Twitter to speak about the "terrifying" event.

"Our local airport is such an important part of the Canberra community, and it must have been terrifying for everyone," she said.

"Thanks so much to the first responders for keeping everyone safe."

Dozens of people had to wait outside Canberra Airport for hours in the cold.  (ABC News: Ian Cutmore)

ABC/AAP

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