Thai aviation authorities have threatened to punish tourists, who take selfies pretending to touch planes, with a death sentence.

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.

The aviation authorities claim that tourists taking photos may cause crashes and announced plans to shut off a section of the beach to stop pilots becoming distracted by the activities of the tourists.

Phuket locals, however, hit back by saying if the beach was closed it would stop tourists coming to the island.

“If the beach is closed, we will have serious problems because many tourists simply will not come,’ said Winai Sae-io, head of a local entrepreneurial stimulus program.

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

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