Tuesday, 23 July, 2019

This photo could land you the death penalty

Plane approaching Phuket International Airport at Mai Khao Beach International Airport at Mai Khao Beach
Russell Knight | 10 April, 2019, 14:17

Mai Khao beach on Thailand's island of Phuket is the name of the place. It is known for its unbelievable beaches and has become a major drawcard for the country.

A beach close to a busy airport on Phuket in the country's south has become a popular attraction with holidaymakers because of its proximity to the island's airport, reports Daily Mail.

Schapelle Corby, who was released in 2017 after spending 12 years in jail in Bali for drug smuggling, just snapped a photo of herself and her boyfriend Ben Panangian there on Monday - and she is not alone.

A photo like this one, taken by Schapelle Corby, could result in the death penalty. Here, planes are frequent and can be seen flying very low over the beach while en route to the runway.

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

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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 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.

The penalties for breaching the zone can be anywhere from a small fine to the "maximum penalty of death" according to Kaeothaithiam.

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

"We want both the income from tourism and the aviation safety to co-exist", Wichit Kaewsaithiam, director of Phuket International Airport, is quoted as saying.

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