By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – With temperatures reaching forty degrees Celsius in Rio de Janeiro, the city’s consumer protection agency, PROCON-RJ, reprimanded INFRAERO (Port Authority) at Santos Dumont Airport for its air condition system on Wednesday, December 28th. Inspectors found the temperature inside the airport’s lobbies very high, causing discomfort to travelers passing through the terminal.
“Considering that the lobby and other service areas of the airport should be appropriate for the hours of waiting travellers may endure, INFRAERO was given by [PROCON] agents a period of thirty days to adjust its refrigeration system,” said the press statement released by the protection agency.
Passengers coming into the city or leaving Rio this week took to social media to complain about the high temperatures and the lack of air-conditioning at the airport’s main terminals. “Santos Dumont airport, unbearable heat, doesn’t even feel like there’s air conditioning,” complained Luiz Felipe Ferreira on his Twitter account. Davidson Meirelles went further, asking, “Is Santos Dumont re-enacting cosplay of hell?”
Agents also inspected eighteen commercial establishments operating at the airport and found irregularities in seven of them. In a statement released to Agência Brasil, however, Infraero said that Santos Dumont’s “air conditioning system is one hundred percent operational”.
As part of Operação Adeus Ano Velho (Operation Goodbye Old Year), this week the state’s consumer protection agency inspected locations where tourists arrive into the city, such as Tom Jobim International Airport and Novo Rio Bus Terminal. In these two locations agents found temperatures adequate.
According to Rio’s tourism agency, Riotur, approximately 865,000 tourists are expected to come into the city during the next few days for the New Year’s Celebration this weekend.
The city, which registered its the hottest day of the year on Tuesday (December 27th) with thermometers exceeding 42 degrees Celsius, is expected to register a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius on December 31st.