The construction of the new Guararapes/Gilberto Freyre International Airport in Recife, Pernambuco, is particularly meaningful for the Odebrecht Group. Since its beginnings, the organization has had strong ties with Pernambuco, where Emílio Odebrecht founded a small construction company called Isaac Gondim & Odebrecht in 1919. His firm was responsible for building a number of important projects in that northeastern Brazilian state. Norberto Odebrecht, the Odebrecht Group’s founder, was born in Recife a year later. In the 1960s, when the sudene development agency attracted industries to the Northeast, particularly Pernambuco, Odebrecht opened its first office outside Bahia in Recife and played an intensive role in that new period of northeastern development. For all these reasons, Construtora Norberto Odebrecht’s participation in the construction of Guararapes Airport is uniquely significant.
Its significance is heightened by the extraordinary quality of this infraero (Brazilian airport authority) project. Considered the most advanced facility of its kind in Brazil, capable of handling up to 5 million passengers per year, the airport also symbolizes Odebrecht’s contribution to the construction of Brazil’s airport infrastructure, which began in 1948 in Salvador.
Contributing to the construction of infrastructure facilities that further the development of the countries in which Odebrecht is present is one of the overarching aims of the Group’s operations. Peru is one example. Odebrecht began its international expansion in that country 25 years ago by building the Charcani V hydroelectric plant. Since then, the organization has helped build major projects in the areas of irrigation, mining, energy and transportation. Peru symbolizes Odebrecht’s international operations due to the quality and quantity of the projects the Group has built there, the pioneering nature of its work and the example of establishing a long-term presence, which proves that in order to put down roots in a country, a company must satisfy its clients, which leads to the achievement of a good image.