Oops: Apple Maps Users Drive Across Airport Runway
Fairbanks staff forced to block off area
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Sep 26, 2013 6:02 AM CDT
Updated Sep 26, 2013 7:00 AM CDT
This Sept. 20, 2013 image provided by the Fairbanks International Airport shows the barricaded entrance to a taxiway, at Float Pond Road blocking access to Taxiway B in Fairbanks, Alaska.   (AP Photo/Fairbanks International Airport)

(Newser) – Twice in the past three weeks, drivers trying to get to the Fairbanks International Airport have driven right across the runway. It seems Apple Maps directs them to Taxiway Bravo, and though the app doesn't specifically say to cross the runway, the terminal is right on the other side, reports the Alaska Dispatch, which adds that it's "only natural" that users would arrive at the taxiway, see the terminal, and head toward it. People are deeply invested in their phones' guidance, officials say: "These folks drove past several signs. They even drove past a gate. None of that cued them that they did something inappropriate."

The airport contacted Apple on Sept. 6 to fix the issue, and the company said it would take care of it—but so far, it hasn't, and a second, similar incident occurred Sept. 20. "Both parties that did it said they were following the directions on their iPhone," says an airport rep. Now the airport has installed barriers to prevent such mishaps. Meanwhile, a state representative had a similar problem, the AP reports: Apple Maps told him to cruise on the runway of another airport nearby. "It told me to make a right onto the small plane runway, which in fact was the shortest way to get to the big airport," Les Gara says. "I give the iPhone app credit for that."

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
Sep 27, 2013 1:07 PM CDT
It seems to indicate drivers are too stupid not to know a runway isn't a road. Drivers in NJ using those idiot boxes to drive were driving over an enbankment and onto a railroad track long after the grade crossing had been relocated 200 feet from the old crossing.
Sep 27, 2013 5:45 AM CDT
Sue them!
Sep 26, 2013 9:57 PM CDT
Colleen Argue, 48, of Vian killed a man because "her GPS voice command told her to turn right, and she did so, crossing into the path of Adam Steele's motorcycle." I saw the scene after it happened and she drove around a cement barrier to attempt an illegal entrance to a local mall. At first, they city put up plastic tubes that were attached to the street but people were just driving over them since it didn't harm their cars to do so. The police never wrote tickets for people doing that. Then the city took what was left of them out, and put in the sectional cement barriers. Well that only made people even more resourceful to make their own way to that lane and a man died because of it.