The airport was opened in 1935 and was extensively used during World War II, when it was used as a ground for training fighter pilots. Today, the airport is still used extensively as a training ground for all types of pilots, whether civil, commercial or military. Several aviation schools are found within the immediate vicinity of the airport. In addition, the airport is a popular landing site for amateur pilots and aviation enthusiasts.
The airport is remembered as a historical landmark, one of the few airports in the Philippines with such a designation.
Plaridel Airport was temporarily closed on July 9, 2007 following a crash involving two Cessna 150s that killed three persons: an instructor and a student from WCC Aviation School, and another student, Varsha Gopinanth, an Indian national and student at the Phoenix Aviation School. Both planes were headed for Ninoy Aquino International Airport when they collided over Purok Ilang-Ilang, Barangay Ligas, Malolos City at 12:55 p.m PST.