Oops: Apple Maps Users Drive Across Airport Runway

Fairbanks staff forced to block off area

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 26, 2013 6:02 AM CDT | Updated Sep 26, 2013 7:00 AM CDT

(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."

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.
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)
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