Apple Maps faux pas causes drivers to cross airport runway

Apple Maps has been blamed for an Alaskan airport having to shut an aircraft access route due to motorists driving across a runway after following the app’s directions.

Fairbanks International Airport told the Alaska Dispatch that two motorists drove along the taxiway and across the runway after being advised to do so by Apple’s Maps app, and the airport has asked Apple to take the map for that area offline.

"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," Melissa Osborn, chief of operations at the airport, told the Alaska Dispatch.

The airport has taken additional steps to prevent access by putting up barricades that prevent drivers from accessing the final stretch of taxiway that crosses the runway and they will stay until Apple fixes the issue.

Apple will, reportedly, fix the problem by today but the BBC report that directions were still showing a route that crosses the runway.

Apple released Maps as part of iOS 6 this time last year and it has been riddled with problems since it was unveiled. Apple CEO Tim Cook had to eventually come out with an apology over the new application whilst advising customers to use other apps including Google Maps, which it had hoped to replace.

Even after Cook’s public apology the mapping service’s woes mounted up with the Australian police taking the extraordinary step of warning motorists against using the app as it could cause a “potentially life-threatening issue” by misdirecting drivers.

Google Maps, in comparison, is the most used smartphone app on the planet and over half of the world’s smartphones access the app with 54 per cent of phones having the app.