Last year, over 800,000 Australian’s visited the island of Phuket in Thailand. It is known for its amazing beaches and has become a major drawcard for the country.

However, Phuket International Airport’s runway begins just 60 meters from the sand of Mai Khao Beach, and it has become a very popular spot for plane spotters and those wanting a close-up photo with a landing aircraft.

Local officials have now said that the beach has become a distraction for pilots and are working for an exclusion area on the beach.

“People and tourists will not be allowed to enter this area to take photos,” Phuket airport deputy chief Wichit Kaeothaithiam told the Bangkok Post.

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


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 last year after a drone was spotted.

The safe zone around Phuket airport is also designed to eliminate the risk of drone and light interference with planes.