Villamor Air Base

Villamor Air Base
Parañaque and Pasay, Metro Manila

522nd Logistics Group Headquarters Building
Coordinates 14°30′31″N 121°01′10″E / 14.50861°N 121.01944°E / 14.50861; 121.01944
Type Military base
Site information
Owner  Philippines
Controlled by Philippine Air Force
Condition active, as of 2016
Site history
Built 1898
Built by  United States
In use 1940-present
Garrison information
Villamor Air Base
Nichols Field
Nichols Air Base
Airport type Public/Military
Operator Philippine Air Force
Serves Manila
Elevation AMSL 23 m / 75 ft
Coordinates 14°30′31″N 121°01′10″E / 14.50861°N 121.01944°E / 14.50861; 121.01944
Villamor Air Base

Location in the Philippines

Direction Length Surface
m ft
06/24 3,737 12,261 Concrete
13/31 2,258 7,408 Concrete

Villamor Air Base (IATA: MNL, ICAO: RPLL) named for WWII Filipino pilot Jesús A. Villamor is the home of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) and shares runways with the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. It is also Known as Nichols Field or Nichols Air Base. Chiefly used as a PAF transport/helicopter airbase, it is also the military installation that the Philippine president uses when departing for foreign or domestic trips, though foreign departures are mostly done at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.


Nichols Field was built in the 1930s by the United States during the Philippine Commonwealth period and in 1941 was used as a USAAF airfield in the South West Pacific Theatre. The field was the location of the Far East Air Force's U.S. 20th Air Base Group. Also, based at the field was Troop F of the U.S. 26th Cavalry Regiment.

A Fifth Air Force base, Nichols Field was within the territory of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, December 1941 – January 1945.

Nichols Air Base

Designated Nichols Air Base after Philippine independence, in 1997 the base was reduced to make way for construction of NAIA Terminal 3 and Newport City.

In 2007, a Skyway exit to both the air base and NAIA Terminal 3 was completed.

In 2010, the AVSECOM van (called by some as Ninoy Aquino's death van) which had carried the body of Ninoy Aquino to the hospital after his assassination in 1983 was found rotting inside Nichols air base (now called Villamor Airbase). This was reported only two years later in the popular ABS-CBN News website.[1] Photos of this "death van" were subsequently posted on the blog site of the Filipino investigative journalist, Raissa Robles, who reported the discovery.[2]

Nichols'--e.g., for the whole NAIA complex--Nichols Field, and Villamor are colloquial and code names for the surrounding area.

Villamor Air Base
Two North American A-27s of the 17th Pursuit Squadron at Nichols Field in 1941. 
Facade of Museum 


  1. "Ninoy Aquino's death van". ABS CBN News. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  2. Robbles, Raissa. "Ninoy Aquino's death van". Retrieved 30 August 2013. External link in |publisher= (help)
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