Brazil tries to reassure on airports upgrades

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Brazil is trying to assure World Cup tourists they will not face problems at airports, even though many upgrades will not be finished for kick-off time.

The chronic delays in airport renovations have matched those in stadium construction and officials have acknowledged for a while that visitors will be using unfinished airport facilities. Now they are stressing everything will be OK for fans on arrival.

Wellington Moreira Franco, Brazil’s civil aviation minister, said “all airports will be prepared to adequately” receive World Cup tourists and all “major” projects would be completed.

President Dilma Rousseff used her weekly radio show to “guarantee” the airports would be ready. But the government’s attempts to downplay concerns come as problems continue to arise three weeks from the start of the tournament.

Heavy rain caused flooding in the passenger terminal of the World Cup airport in the jungle city of Manaus on Monday, upsetting travellers and forcing officials to temporarily close some areas. Construction continues at full pace in many airports and some of the renovation projects planned for the World Cup will be completed only after the tournament.