Tourists face the death penalty for taking selfies at banned Thai airport

The trend of tourists taking beach selfies while planes take-off has angered Phuket airport chiefs who have threatened them with the death penalty.

The stretch of sand next to the busy airport on the island in southern Thailand has become a popular attraction with holidaymakers.

Many beachgoers take pictures of themselves with the jets in the background and post the images on social media sites.

But airport bosses are furious and have vowed to close off the section of beach amid concerns it could cause an accident.

The ban would be covered by the same law as distracting pilots with drones and laser pens.

Officials told local media that the maximum punishment under that law is the death sentence.

Wichit Kaewsaithiam, director of Phuket International Airport, said: ‘’We want both the income from tourism and the aviation safety to co-exist.”

Despite the warnings, footage taken this week at the popular selfie spot shows bikini-clad women and men in their swimming trunks taking pictures while planes take-off.

Officials said holidaymakers will be forced further down the beach with the area used by tourists for pictures being sealed off.

Anyone found guilty of breaching the planned married or deliberately distracting the pilots could be punished under the Air Aviation Act.

‘’The maximum penalty is the death sentence,’’ Mr Wichit told the Bangkok Post.

The footage was captured yesterday (April 4).