It is located along the border between Pasay City and Parañaque City in Metro Manila, just a few kilometers south of the country's capital Manila. The airport was previously named Manila International Airport and was renamed to its present name in honor of Benigno Aquino Jr, whose nickname was Ninoy. Ninoy was the husband of former president Corazon Aquino and famous oppositionist senator who was assassinated at the airport after he arrived in the country following a self-exile.
NAIA is managed by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA). NAIA has two operational terminals with a third one scheduled for completion by 2004. The first terminal, NAIA-1, is the original terminal and was constructed in 1981. The second terminal, NAIA-2, was finished in 1998 and is popularly called the Centennial Terminal since 1998 was the centennial year of the declaration of Philippine independence.
The airport is the home of Philippine Airlines and is adjacent to the Villamor Airbase.
On December 11, 1994, Philippine Airlines Flight 434 was flying on its second leg of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport - Mactan-Cebu International Airport - New Tokyo International Airport route when a bomb on board exploded, killing a passenger. The airliner was able to make an emergency landing. Authorities later found out that Ramzi Yousef planted the bomb on the airliner to test the bomb for his Project Bojinka plot. His project was discovered in Manila after an apartment fire on the night of January 5 and the morning of January 6, 1995.
If Project Bojinka had not been discovered after a fire in Manila, Philippines, one or more aircraft owned by a U.S carrier/s flying to this airport would have blown up over the Pacific Ocean on January 21, 1995 as part of the project's first phase.