Aeroporto Internacional do Recife/Guararapes – Gilberto Freyre (IATA: REC, ICAO: SBRF) is the airport serving Recife, Brazil. It is operated by AENA. Some of its facilities are shared with the Recife Air Force Base of the Brazilian Air Force. Originally called Ibura Airport, the airport had its name changed to Guararapes Airport in 1948. The facility originated at the time of World War II, when a new airport was built to replace the earlier airfield, Parque do Encanta Moça. With the end of the War, the facility became strategically important as a technical and refueling stop on the route from South America to Europe. On 18 January 1958, a new passenger terminal was inaugurated, replacing the original facility. During this time, runway 14/32 was extended from 1,800 m to 2,010 m, and runway 18/36 was extended from 1,800 m to 2,400 m. In 1979, an agreement with Infraero was made in order to further develop the airport complex. The passenger terminal underwent its first major renovation in 1982 and another enlargement in 1990. In 2004 a brand-new passenger terminal was built, including a new shopping mall, thus generating more traffic and revenue. Furthermore, a new concourse was opened in 2004 and the airport's capacity increased from 1.5 to 9 million passengers/year. Today, the runway is 3,300 meters (10,827 ft) long, the longest in Northeastern Brazil.
On 31 August 2009 Infraero unveiled a BRL 8.75 million (USD 4.6 million; EUR 3.2 million) investment plan to upgrade Guararapes International Airport, focusing on the preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Recife being one of the venue cities. The investment was spent in finishing the passenger terminal renovation, installing 8 more jetways. The work was completed on 1 July 2011, and the airport was then considered ready for the FIFA Cup.
In February 2016, the president of Azul Airlines and the governor of Pernambuco signed an agreement to install a hub for the company at Recife airport. As of the agreement Azul went on to operate another 12 daily flights in Recife, which becomes the only city with direct flights to all capitals in the Brazilian Northeast. According to the president of the company, Antonoaldo Neves, of the approximately 1 million passengers transported by the company (until August 2016), 500 thousand made connections at Recife airport.
The Brazilian Integrated Air Traffic Control and Air Defense Center, section 3 (Cindacta III) is located in the vicinity of the airport.