Tourists could face the death penalty for taking photos on beach near airport

Authorities are cracking down on visitors to the beach, which borders one of the country’s busiest airports, Phuket International Airport.
(Photo by Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Picture-obsessed tourists visiting Thailand’s Mai Kho beach might want to put their phones down — or they stand to face the death penalty.

Authorities are cracking down on visitors to the beach, which borders one of the country’s busiest airports, Phuket International Airport, after it has become popular with tourists looking to take snaps with low-flying planes.

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The portion of the beach near the airport’s runway has become known as “Unseen Phuket,” and tourists flock to the section to pose with the landing planes.

According to the Bangkok Post, authorities have become more concerned as the beach has grown in popularity and is developing a new safety zone near the runway that will ban people from entering. Authorities fear the influx of people on the beach could pose as a distraction for pilots.

Airport chief Wichit Kaeothaithiam told the Bangkok Post that stricter regulations must be applied as required by the International Civil Aviation Organization and violators must be subject to punishments under the Air Navigation Act.

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Violators allegedly will face harsh punishments, such as a fine of 40,000 baht ($1,253) or a jail sentence of up to 20 years, The Sun reported.

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A couple is in hot water after doing an acrobatic stunt several feet below a descending airplane on Maho Beach in Saint Martin.

“The maximum penalty is the death sentence,” he shared with the Bangkok Post.

Tourists looking to snag selfies with low-flying aircraft have been a problem at another popular beach, as well.

Maho Beach on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin has suffered deaths and criticisms over its tourists who want to get an up-close plane pic.

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A 57-year-old woman vacationing in Saint Martin was killed after a blast from a nearby jet knocked her to the ground. Officials say the woman had been holding onto a fence that separates the beach from the airport when winds generated by the jet’s engines blasted her back.

More recently, an acrobatic couple was criticized for performing a one-handed headstand inches away from a cargo plane. Performers Oleg Kolisnichenko, 36, and Yuliia Nos, 25, appear to be just feet away from the aircraft in the daring snap.

“It didn’t touch my feet but I felt so much air from the plane and I lost my balance. It was so much fun and exciting but it was only after I realized how dangerous it was,” Nos said to SWNS.

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