Flights are being diverted away from the international airport in the Kenyan city of Nairobi on Wednesday after a huge fire engulfed the arrivals building.
The blaze is believed to have spread from a small fire that began in the immigration area of the airport, the busiest in east Africa.
The blaze at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has caused serious damage and it has been closed, a Nairobi ministry official said.
Images on Kenyan media showed flames rising high into the sky and clouds of black smoke billowing out of the main arrivals and departures terminal, the ABC reports.
Firefighters trying to stop the fire spreading have been hampered by shortages of water and the interior ministry appealed for traffic to give way to trucks ferrying water to the airport.
All flights into and out of the airport, except emergency landings, have been cancelled and all roads around the airport have been closed.
The Kenyan Airports Authority has urged people to stay away from the airport as the emergency operation continues.
Passengers and staff were moved to safety and there have been no reports of any injuries.