Managing director of the Icelandic Travel Industry Association Helga Árnadóttir said the landowners of Sólheimasandur—where the Douglas DC-35 Super Dakota plane wreck of Justin Bieber and Shah Rukh Khan fame is located—should have called the police instead of fining the tourist who drove there on his rental car.
“The way I understand it, the landowners are fining the individual for [driving up to the plane wreck]. There’s no admission for entering the land by car. Car traffic is banned,” Helga said on RÚV’s Rás 2 radio this morning. She clarified that people are allowed to walk up to the plane wreck but not drive there, which the tourist had disregarded.
“According to my understanding, the landowner doesn’t have the authority to fine people. In this case, the police should have been called to the scene. The police have the authority to do so and could have handled the case. Of course this is an excessive amount,” Helga commented.
The tourist drove through a gate of a fence which landowners had put up around the plane wreck. When he wanted to return, the gate had been locked and the landowners refused to let him out unless he paid EUR 800 (ISK 100,000).
They reasoned that they had decided that this should be the admission fee for viewing the plane. The tourist filed a complaint to the police.
The plane wreck was made famous in a music video by Justin Bieber and a film with Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan last year and has become a frequented destination. Concerned about accidents and environmental impacts, landowners decided to fence off the plane wreck.
The US Navy Douglas DC-35 Super Dakota made an emergency landing on the black sands of Sólaheimasandur in 1973.