Tourists have been warned that they are at risk of hefty fines, years in jail or being executed for taking selfies at a beach close to an airport in Thailand.

The southeast Asian country Aviation authorities have warned that travellers exploring the Mai Khao beach to take selfies while planes land overhead may face death penalty.

Located near Phuket international airport, the beach, nicknamed ‘the selfie runway’, is a popular destination for many tourists who love to take close up shots as planes fly extremely low before landing at the airport runway.

In an interview with Bangkok Post, Wichit Kaeothaithiam, Phuket international airport deputy chief, said the movement, drone camera and flashlight used for selfies shots distracts pilots while trying to land.

“People and tourists will not be allowed to enter this area to take photos…the maximum penalty is the death sentence,” Kaeothaithiam said.

He added that the airport authorities are currently developing a safety zone where tourists can access without any inhibition.

“The airport wants to boost tourism revenues, but at the same time, it must make sure there will not be any problem with aviation regulations … Tourism and safety must coexist,” he added.

Monrudee Gettuphan, a director at the Phuket international airport, had previously said that officials were ”concerned about the safety of residents and tourists” who use the area while taking selfies near the planes.

”People need to stay away from the restricted zone. We want to prevent any unknown object or material injuring people, or even their hearing being damaged by the noise of the aircraft’s engines,” said the airport official.

“The penalty for anyone failing to comply with this regulation includes the death penalty, a life sentence, or a jail term of between five to 20 years, as per the Air Aviation Act 1978.”

The threat was not received well as locals have said that the new restrictions may discourage tourists attraction, especially for those who basically visit the beach to take notably selfies.



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