iPhone directions send drivers across Alaskan runway

Macworld Australia Staff
25 September, 2013
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Do you remember when you were a nipper and your mother caught you following some badly behaved buddy into mischief and would fix you with that old standard, “And I suppose if they’d told you to jump off a cliff, you’d have done that too?”

Well, apparently the answer should have been, “No, of course not dearest Mother, but if my iPhone had told me to…”

At least, that’s the case at Fairbanks International Airport in Alaska in the US.

This week reports have come through of out of town drivers relying more on the faulty maps app on their iPhone than on good old-fashioned common sense and driving their vehicles along a main runway regularly used by 737s and other aircraft.

At least twice in the last three weeks, motorists have followed their iPhones’ directions with such dedication that when they reached the airport, they carried on across the runway and to the airport ramp side of the passenger terminal.

The Alaska Dispatch quotes the airport’s chief of operations, Melissa Osborn, who said, “These folks drove past several signs. They even drove past a gate. None of that cued them that they did something inappropriate.”

Airport staff asked Apple to amend the app after an incident with a rental car on 6 September, but two weeks later the same thing happened again. According to Osborn, the problem arose because people tend to use the airport itself as a reference point, instead of its actual address.

The airport has now closed and barricaded the access route to Taxiway Bravo from the Float Pond Road. As of last Tuesday the app was still misdirecting drivers, but Osborn and the airport’s marketing director Angie Spear said that Apple officials assured the state that the problem would be fixed shortly.

by Macworld Australia staff

 

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