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iPhone map leads drivers across airport runway

4:08 AM, Sep 27, 2013   |    comments
(Photo: Nancy Trejos/USA TODAY)
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If you're heading to Fairbanks International Airport in Alaska, you may want to pull out a map instead of your iPhone.

According to the Alaska Dispatch, at least twice in the past three weeks, out-of-town drivers who followed directions on their iPhones were led across the runway to the airport ramp side of the passenger terminal. And they followed the directions even though a gate and a sign was there to stop them.

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

The directions sent the drivers to Taxiway Bravo, shown "Taxiway B" on the satellite image in the app. The app did not, however, tell them to cross the main runway.

"But once drivers reached the taxiway, it was only natural for them to look up and see the terminal on the other side of the runway. So that's where they drove," the Dispatch reported.

Angie Spear, marketing director for the airport, said airport staff complained though the state attorney general's office to Apple after a Sept. 6 incident. But then another driver drove through the runway on Sept. 20.

Since then, the airport has closed the aircraft access route to Taxiway Bravo from the Float Pond Road. New barricades are in place. And a notice to pilots to be vigilant of cars has been issued.

NPR reports that Apple says it issued a temporary fix and that drivers now get a message saying the route is not available.



Nancy Trejos, USA TODAY

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