#FAIL: Apple Maps Sends Alaskans Onto Airport Runway

This isn’t going to help the reputation of Apple Maps in any way, shape, or form. According to the Alaska Dispatch, people using Apple Maps in Fairbanks Alaska to get themselves to the local airport are being directed onto an airport runway:

At least twice in the past three weeks, drivers from out of town who followed the directions on their iPhones not only reached airport property, but also crossed the runway and drove to the airport ramp side of the passenger terminal.

“These folks drove past several signs. They even drove past a gate. None of that cued them that they did something inappropriate,” said Melissa Osborn, chief of operations at the Fairbanks airport.

Now some common sense should come into play here to say that going onto an active runway at an airport is a bad idea. However, Apple Maps should not be directing them onto the runway in the first place. Thus it’s a #fail for Apple Maps. What makes the situation worse is this:

The problem was supposed to have been fixed promptly, according to reports form the Apple legal department to the attorney general’s office and Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, but it hasn’t been, Spear and Osborn said. 

 “We asked them to disable the map for Fairbanks until they could correct it, thinking it would be better to have nothing show up than to take the chance that one more person would do this,” Osborn said.

 A “lot of legal speak” ensued, Spear said. 

On Sept. 20, it happened again. The airport has since closed the aircraft access route to Taxiway Bravo from the Float Pond Road.

A Notice to Airmen has been issued and new barricades are in place. Airport officials said they will not be removed until it is clear the maps are corrected. Spear and Osborn said that Apple officials have assured the state the problem will be fixed by Wednesday. As of Tuesday afternoon, the app continued to direct passengers to use Taxiway Bravo to access the airport.

Apple Maps hasn’t been on my radar screen for a while as it hasn’t done anything like this recently. But seeing as iOS 7 just appeared along with new iPhones, the timing for this sort of thing to happen isn’t exactly optimal for Apple. Hopefully they fix this today. Otherwise, this will be a story that stays in the news for reasons that are all bad for Apple.

One Response to “#FAIL: Apple Maps Sends Alaskans Onto Airport Runway”

  1. […] hopefully Apple fixes this quickly. Though in the grand scheme of things, it’s not as bad as some other Apple Map #fails that I’ve covered on this […]

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