Tourists could face being threatened with the death penalty for taking sel es on a beach near a busy airport in Thailand, according to reports.

Posing for a photo on the notorious beach

The beach close to Phuket International Airport is popular with holidaymakers – but people taking pictures while planes take off have reportedly angered airport bosses who say it could distract pilots.

The beach is near an airport

Wichit Kaewsaithiam, the airport’s Deputy General Manager, said: “We are setting up a safety zone which will be categorised as a strictly prohibited area that does not allow people and tourists to take pictures.

“Aside from this area, local people and tourists can still come to take pictures as usual.”

Airport chiefs also reportedly warned tourists against flying drones and shining laser pens in the area to avoid distracting pilots.

Tourists take selfies on the popular beach

Speaking about the acts which could distract pilots, Mr Kaewsaithiam told the Bangkok Post : “The maximum penalty is the death sentence.”

Monrudee Gettuphan, a director at the Phuket International Airport, previously said officials were concerned about the safety of people who take selfies near planes, it is reported.

An official reportedly said people need to stay away from the restricted zone to prevent injury.

The warning was also to protect people’s hearing being damaged by aircraft engines, reports said.

According to the Daily Mail , an official said: “The penalty for anyone failing to comply with this regulation includes the death penalty, a life sentence, or a jail term of between five to 20 years, as per the Air Aviation Act 1978.”