Prakob Wongmaneerung, the vice governor of Phuket, led a meeting with the management of the Phuket International Airport in order to decide on the safety zone to be placed around the runway. This has become a necessity after tourists are flocking to the area they dubbed as the unseen Phuket. Many tourists are visiting the island to experience Phuket spa and the beaches but the authorities have noticed that visitors are starting to favour a new attraction near the Phuket International Airport.
During the meeting spearheaded by the vice governor, Wichit Kaewsaithiam, the deputy director of the airport, said that in order for them to implement strict safety rules in the vicinity of the airport, they must be able to fulfil the requirements based on the ICAO or International Civil Aviation Organisation.
According to Mr. Wichit, it is their goal to make sure the tourism revenue does not decline but it their main priority is the safety of the airplanes going in and out of the runway and the visitors that are flocking to the beach nearby.
Tourists will still be granted the chance to take photos but it will be from a further location than before. This is to make sure that they do not get too close to the runway and they can enjoy the beach in a safe manner.
He added that the departments assigned to the task will cooperate with one another in order to determine the areas where the safety zone will be designated. During the meeting, they also discussed issues regarding people that are using their drones close to the airport. There are also complaints of people using laser pointers and directing them at the passing planes.
Mr. Wichit emphasized that if these acts continue, the safety of the airplanes will be jeopardized. Therefore they want the tourists, locals and business owners such as Phuket spa to make sure to they refrain from flying drones or using laser pointers within nine kilometres. A warning was also issued for those who will not follow because they can be charged with being placed on death row as the maximum sentence.