[en] Ultraviolet (UV) spectra of the δ (190-240 nm) and γ (225-270 nm) bands of the nitric oxide (NO) molecule have been measured on the nightside of the atmosphere of Venus with the Spectroscopy for Investigation of Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Venus (SPICAV) instrument on board Venus Express (VEX). Excited NO molecules on the nightside of the planet are created by radiative recombination of O(3P) and N(4S) atoms. The atoms are produced by photodissociation of CO2 and N2 molecules on the dayside and then transported on the nightside by the global circulation. We analyze all nightside limb profiles obtained since 2006 and provide a statistical study of the nitric oxide airglow layer and its variability. We also apply a spatial deconvolution and an Abel inversion method to the limb profiles to retrieve and quantify the volume emission rate distribution and its dependence on several factors. We also show that about 10% of the limb profiles exhibits a secondary peak located above or below the main airglow peak. Furthermore, a one-dimensional chemical-diffusive model is used to simultaneously model the globally averaged NO and O2(a1Δg) airglow vertical distributions using CO2 and O density profiles rooted in VIRTIS and SPICAV observations. We find that a downward flux of 2×10 9 N(4S) atoms cm−2s−1 and a eddy diffusion coefficient equal to 1 x10 11/sqrt(n) cm−2s−1, where n is the total number density, provide the best set of values to parametrize the one-dimensional representation of the complex 3-D dynamical processes.