Instagram influencers hit with death penalty threat over popular photo

Andrew Cummings
April 10, 2019

Phuket International Airport is cracking down on tourist activity at Mai Khao Beach, dubbed "Unseen Phuket" in recent years. It is known for its awesome beaches and has become a major drawcard for the country.

Located on the island's northwestern coast, Mai Khao beach has been a popular destination for tourists who wants to swim, sunbake and watch planes fly extremely low before landing on the airport's runway.

Instagram influencers hit with death penalty threat over popular photo

Taking pictures of yourself on this Thai beach could land you in hot water. Actually there is no risk if anyone takes selfie but a report revealed the tourist use drones and laser pens on the beach which may distract pilot.

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 a year ago after a drone was spotted.

Airport chief Wichit Kaeothaithiam told the publication that stricter regulations are needed due to safety concerns and that violators must be subject to punishments under the Air Navigation Act.

"The maximum penalty is the death sentence", said Wichit.

In response, according to Bangkok Post, officials are creating a new safety zone near the runway that will prevent people from entering the area for those jaw-dropping photos.

Mr Kaeothaithiam said moving forward, the end of the beach near the runway will fall under a newly developed "off limits" safety zone, which will take effect soon. "If the beach is closed, we will have serious problems because many tourists simply will not come", Mr Winai said at the time.

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

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