Up to $240 fine for smoking, using phones on flights

As of December 15, 2013, anyone who smoke or use their cell phone on a flight will be fined up to VND5 million (US$240), five times higher than present

Some planes are seen at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City

Under a new regulation, anyone who smoke or use their cell phone on a flight will be fined up to VND5 million (US$240) as of December 15, 2013.

The new fine rate, which is five times higher than the current one, is included in Decree 147/2013 by the Government on the sanctioning of administrative violations in the field of civil aviation.

Specifically, such acts as smoking cigarettes including electronic ones and using mobile phones, other electronic devices and radio transmission and reception equipment without permission will be fined from VND3-5 million.

Currently the maximum fine for such acts is only VND1 million.

Also under Decree 147, fines ranging from VND10 to 20 million will be applied to those who open the exit door, and another fine of VND5-10 million will be given to those who steal objects, like life jackets, on a plane.

The same fines will also be applied to traders who conduct trading activities at the airport area without complying with regulations on fire prevention and control.

Heavier fines, from VND20 to VND30 million ($1,440), will be imposed on those who verbally threaten to use explosives, radioactive substances, biological weapons at the airport or on flights.

Decree 147/2013 will take effect on December 25, 2013, replacing Decree 60/2010 of June 3, 2010 that governs the same issue.

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