Apple Maps Guides Two Drivers Onto Airport Runway

September 26, 2013


Twice this month drivers using Apple Maps for directions have wound up on a runway at Fairbanks International Airport in Alaska, thanks to a glitch in the app that affects newer devices. Honey -- doesn't this road seem a little wide to you? Thankfully, nobody was hit by an airplane.

The map actually stops at the tarmac, but twice this month, wayward drivers have continued across an active runway.

"It doesn't actually tell you to cross, but the problem is, people see the terminal then at that point, because they are right there, and they just continue across," said Fairbanks International Airport spokeswoman Angie Spear.

There were no injuries in either the Sept. 6 incident or the second one Friday, mainly because they both happened early in the morning, between flights.

First of all, most drivers suck and will follow their GPS off a cliff if it says to. Secondly, what the hell kind of airport has runways accessible by car with no security? I can't fly out of LAX without getting a TSA employee's hand up my ass past their wrist and people in Alaska are just driving onto runways all willy-nilly. It isn't fair.

Thanks to Brandon, who doesn't need GPS map apps because he's got the directional instincts of an eagle.

  • Nick

    LOL I've never seen a damn Apple van mapping the streets of my city, like Google. They need to get off their ass and spend some of that sweet cash on real work.

  • Quinn Kressler

    As somebody who just recently moved to Fairbanks and therefore have no idea how to get around or where things are, I have to rely on my gps. And a few months ago I got an emergency phone call from home and needed to fly there right away. I ended up in outside of the runway and thought, "No way this can be right , cos it's leading me right onto the fucking tarmac! Siri is self aware and trying to kill me!" Kinda funny how this turns up now.

  • Shan Ford

    Iphones User, follows in the footsteps of there makers demise. Now we see how brittle the user is with this revision by leading them into a airport runway. A person can end up like there Iphone broke and left unsatisfied... should have had a snickers

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    Regarding the accessibility of the runway by car, I have personally driven onto the runway at the Orange County, California airport (SNA). There is security, but they don't check inside your vehicle and they just ask to see a valid ID. You could, if you were so inclined, drive right into the path of a 727 with a big bomb in your trunk. The reason is because this airport also has private planes that fly out of there, and a buddy was taking me for a private flight. Basically, you have to have some way to allow people to get to their planes and/or private hangars and that way is with a vehicle. And since a plane is basically like a car with wings, you need some way to get the plane to the runway. You can't deny cars to the runway without denying the planes... So it's a really weird situation.

  • Superior_Joe

    Navigation on iPhone: strictly beta

  • jeffrey jakubowski

    did they not notice the 4 star ranking the second they drove into the airport?

  • HoneyBeeBoo

    Apple Maps......Going places even MapQuest won't go.

  • Random

    @olliewilliams:disqus No matter how stupid you are it's 100% the fault of the software if you got there. Whatever happens from there depends on the driver's stupidity.

  • David Gabel

    it's not 100% of the software. More like 50%. the driver is supposed to be aware of their surroundings, not just drive blindly and all over the road based on what their GPS is telling them. If that was the case we'd have 99% of deaths being related to car accidents along with a much lower population due to more people getting killed.

  • jabbawok

    Try driving onto a runway in the U.K. You'd get shot, after you'd ploughed through the 8 foot fence.

  • Lee

    I wish this was isolated to 'Apple' products but truth be told I nearly ploughed through a fence - overlooking an unlit playground zone - in a cul de sac - at night when using my Garmin.

    The message? -- Tech is a tool, not a replacement to your senses.

  • Ollie Williams

    If you're stupid enough to follow directions onto the tarmac, you can't really put 100% of the blame on the app.

  • Superior_Joe

    Agreed. However, you also can't really count on your iPhone for directions.

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