Economy

Death penalty for taking selfies at Thailand beach?

Death penalty for taking selfies at Thailand beach?

But airport chiefs warned last week that tourists were in danger of causing crashes and announced plant to shut off a section of the beach to stop pilots becoming distracted.

Mai Khao beach is just metres from Phuket Airport in Thailand, prompting herds of visitors every day, eager to land their latest social media photo of themselves perilously close to passing aircraft.

One resident, Winai Sae-io, told Phuket News at the time that locals objected to the plan, which they had been told included a goal of keeping 150 metres either side of the airport runway clear. The beach has served as a unique backdrop for tourist selfies all because of its low-flying planes, which can be spotted frequently in the area.

Airport officials have decided that taking selfies can distract pilots trying to land.

The flying of drones and use of flashlights and lasers have become a major issue for airports around the world, including thousands of lights being cancelled at London's Gatwick Airport past year after a drone was spotted. He added authorities can also hand out punishment as part of the Air Navigation Act.

Deputy Chief of Phuket International Airport Wichit Kaeothaithiam on Thursday said, "people and tourists will not be allowed to enter this area to take photos", reports Bangkok Post.

More news: International Monetary Fund cuts global growth forecast to joint lowest level since crisis

"The maximum penalty is the death sentence", Mr Kaeothaithiam said.

But under the tough new rules, Mr Kaeothaithiam said beachgoers who take photos on the beach risk being slapped with hefty fines or could be sentenced to death.

Mai Khao is a popular destination among tourists in Thailand.

But airport chiefs announced last week that people taking selfies could potentially cause an accident by distracting pilots, and that they meant to close a large chunk of the beach.

While he agreed boosting airport revenue is important, he stressed tourism and safety must co-exist.


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