Death sentence for tourists taking selfies at beach near airport -Thai govt

Joey Santini  Shutterstock

Tourists will no longer be able to take pictures below landing planes, under new rules enforced by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The beach next to Phuket Airport is a huge attraction with holidaymakers and social media influencers, because it offers the unique chance of snapping photos in which they seem to be touching the planes that take off or land.

According to reports, the Thai government is now constructing a safety zone near the runway along the beach to avoid public access to the area.

If you're planning a trip to Thailand anytime soon with the intention of creating some Instagram content, there is one place not to take a selfie.

'If the beach is closed, we will have serious problems because many tourists simply will not come, ' Winai Sae-io, head of a local entrepreneurial stimulus program, told The Phuket News.

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But officials have decided that taking selfies can distract pilots trying to land, and have threatened the death penalty against those who don't stop immediately.

The Bangkok Post reported authorities are developing a new safety zone near the airport runway that will restrict people from entering and taking selfies as a large number of people on the beach posing for pics can prove to be a visual distraction for pilots.

"I want (Airports of Thailand, which operates Phuket International Airport) to look at us and support locals in making (a) living here, too".

The worldwide airport on the Thai island of Phuket is right next to a narrow strip of sand, Mai Khao beach, that faces west towards the Andaman Sea. With the maximum penalty being a death sentence.

While fines and prison sentences are among punishments for those breaching the new laws, Kaeothaithiam said the consequences could be far more severe.


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