Time-Lapse Video of Aircraft Flying Over Singapore’s Changi Airport

Looking like scenes from Close Encounters of the Third Kind from 1977, a time-lapse video of Singapore Changi Airport will have you stumped as whether you are viewing a sci-fi movie or UFO sightings. This video comes to us courtesy of Milton Tan. The photographer and filmmaker was given an all access green light to Singapore Changi Airport in order to film commercial aircraft as they took off or descended to land in the evening.

As of 2013, Changi Airport serves in excess of 100 airlines operating 6,400 weekly flights from Singapore to over 250 cities in approximately 60 countries and territories around the globe. Changi Airport has two parallel runways that were finished and opened in 1981 as part of the airport’s first phase of improvement.

changi airport singapore

Four instrument landing systems (ILS) are in place on the two parallel runways to guide landing aircraft safely regardless of weather conditions. These twin runways are also used by the Republic of Singapore Air Force. The airport has three passenger terminals that have a handling capacity of 66 million passengers.

changi airport

In an uncharacteristic turnaround, airport officials ostensibly saw some of Tan’s previous works, and obviously impressed, invited him to shoot at Changi from a number of limited access areas. Tan was on a few occasions placed so near that you can sporadically see his tripod vibrate from the powerful thrust of the jet turbine engines.

singapore changi airport time-lapse

Even though shot when the airport appears to be at its peak and busiest, the time-lapse video shows the various commercial airplanes appearing more like unidentifiable orbs and flashes of light streaking through the night sky.

Visit Milton Tan’s website to see more of his work.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.