Apple's Maps App Directs Alaska Drivers onto Airport Taxiway

Drivers who use Apple's Maps app for directions to the Fairbanks International Airport in Alaska are being instructed to drive onto an airport taxiway, reports AlaskaDispatch. The taxiway is located directly across from the runway, which is used by aircraft on a regular basis. Though the instructions do not direct drivers to the runway, people have driven there by mistake.

fairbanksairportmaps

The turn-by-turn directions were specific, using the access route that general aviation pilots use to the East Ramp, which is on the other side of the runway from the main airport terminal.

The map directions concluded by telling drivers to go to Taxiway Bravo, shown as "Taxiway B" on the satellite image in the app. The directions did not tell drivers to cross the main runway used regularly by 737s and other aircraft.

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.

According to the airport's chief of operations, Melissa Osborn, out-of-town drivers have driven onto airport property twice in the past several weeks, crossing the runway and driving directly 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," she said.

Though airport staff have complained to Apple via the attorney general's office, the Maps app is currently still routing drivers to the taxiway. Apple’s legal department promised a quick fix, but the issue reoccured causing the airport to close access to Taxiway Bravo. Apple has now promised a fix by Wednesday.

Apple's Maps app has managed to stay out of the spotlight in recent months, but this is not the first time Maps users have been given potentially life threatening advice. Back in December, the Maps app was directing motorists in Victoria, Australia to the middle of the wilderness.

Apple has made efforts to improve its mapping app after facing significant criticism over data inaccuracies when the app launched. The company has hired dozens of "ground truth" experts around the world to improve the quality of its mapping service and has also acquired a number of mapping apps including HopStop, Locationary, and Embark.

Apple CEO Tim Cook famously apologized for Maps after its disastrous launch, stating that Apple was “extremely sorry” for the frustration that it had caused, promising to work "non-stop" until Maps was improved.

Update: Apple has removed the taxiways from its Maps app and added several "Road Closed" icons in the vicinity to help alert drivers, but the app is now unable to offer directions to the airport.

fairbanks_airport_no_directions

Top Rated Comments

Theclamshell Avatar
99 months ago
Now that's just plane wrong.
Score: 160 Votes (Like | Disagree)
freedevil Avatar
99 months ago
Apple should have just paid google instead of going through this inefficient route. Tom tom will never be as good.
Score: 61 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macs4nw Avatar
99 months ago
Oops, is that a plane coming at me, on my side of the road? No, it's a lawsuit taxiing down the runway!
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mbh Avatar
99 months ago
Apple should fix this bogus road. The Airport should have a fence (with a closed gate) around the runway to prevent random traffic from wandering in there. The drivers who did this should be fined and sent to driver's education school for failure to pay attention to where they were driving. Seems like lots of fault to go around, but it's ultimately the driver's responsibility to drive safely.

People have been doing dumb things in their cars a lot longer than Apple Maps has been around.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dnask8 Avatar
99 months ago
Good to know you can straight up drive onto the airport in Alaska. Remember that Homeland Security thing? Guess they don't up there.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Theclamshell Avatar
99 months ago
Nobody will top this.
Just wanted to land a good pun...

Alrighty I'm done :p
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

tile sticker e1570533758981

Tile CEO: 'We Welcome Competition From Apple, But We Think It Needs to Be Fair'

Tuesday May 4, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Just after Apple announced its AirTags, Tile CEO CJ Prober relayed his concerns about competing with Apple in the tracking space, and said that Tile would ask Congress to investigate Apple's business practices specific to Find My and item trackers. Prober this week did an interview with Bloomberg, where he further expanded on Tile's complaints about Apple and why he feels that Tile is...
apple watch ecg

Apple Watch Likely to Gain Blood Pressure, Blood Glucose, and Blood Alcohol Monitoring

Monday May 3, 2021 4:03 am PDT by
The Apple Watch may gain the ability to measure blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood alcohol levels, according to newly-revealed information about one of Apple's chosen business partners. Apple has been revealed to be the largest customer of the British electronics start-up Rockley Photonics, The Telegraph reports. Rockley Photonics has developed non-invasive optical sensors for...
signal instagram ads3

Signal Shares the Instagram Ads Facebook Doesn't Want You to See

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:29 am PDT by
Encrypted messaging app Signal has had a series of Instagram ads blocked from the social media platform, after it attempted to show users how much data the Facebook-owned company collects about them and how it's used to push targeted ads. In a blog post, Signal described how it generated the ads to show users why they were seeing them, simply by declaring upfront the information that the...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Admits App Store's 30% Cut Is Similar to Consoles, Would Have Accepted Special Deal With Apple

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:54 pm PDT by
Apple's legal battle with Epic Games is continuing on, and during the second day of the trial, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney continued his testimony against Apple. Sweeney was grilled by Apple's lawyers, and made several points seemingly favorable to Apple. In addition to mentioning how he prefers Apple's iPhone and values Apple's privacy policies that he's aiming to dismantle, Sweeney...
snapchat dark mode

Snapchat Rolls Out Dark Mode on iOS

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:17 am PDT by
Nearly two years following the release of iOS and iPadOS 13, which included native, built-in, and systemwide dark mode, Snapchat, one of the world's most prominent social media networks, has finally rolled out a dark mode theme for iOS users. Snapchat began testing a dark mode theme of its app design late last year with a small group of iOS users. Now, Snapchat says that as of this week, it...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Brydge's 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Keyboard With Trackpad

Tuesday May 4, 2021 11:48 am PDT by
Brydge has been making keyboards for Apple's iPads for years now, and the newest model, the Brydge 12.9 MAX+, is compatible with the third, fourth, and fifth-generation iPad Pro models, so it works even with the new mini-LED iPad Pro. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, we checked out the new Brydge 12.9 MAX+ to see if it's a viable...
iphone 13 pro max dummy notch

iPhone 13 Pro Max Dummy Model Depicts Smaller Notch

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 13 models are expected to feature a slimmed down notch, marking the first major change to the TrueDepth camera system since it was introduced in the 2017 iPhone X. We're still months away from the launch of the iPhone 13, but Lewis Hilsenteger of Unbox Therapy managed to get an iPhone 13 Pro Max dummy model that represents what we can expect from the new 2021 device. Dummy...
Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature 1

Mini-LED Display Production Improving for Redesigned MacBook Pro Models Later This Year

Monday May 3, 2021 8:33 am PDT by
Apple supplier TSMT, a key vendor involved in the production of mini-LED displays in the newly announced 12.9-inch iPad Pro, has been able to address technical challenges for the production of mini-LED displays to be used in the upcoming 14 and 16-inch redesigned MacBook Pro models. As reported by DigiTimes, TSMT had initially been facing production constraints with the circuit board and...
netflix sign up

Apple Discussed 'Punitive Measures' Against Netflix for Dropping In-App Purchases

Wednesday May 5, 2021 11:03 am PDT by
As the Epic Games v. Apple trial progresses into its third day, Apple's internal documents and communications with various companies are continuing to surface, giving us some insight into the dealings that Apple has had around the App Store. Back in December 2018, Netflix stopped offering in-app subscription options for new or resubscribing members and instead began requiring them to sign up ...
airtags

AirTag Owners Bemoan Inability to Let Others Track Their Items Via Family Sharing

Tuesday May 4, 2021 5:12 am PDT by
Apple's new AirTag item trackers have been making their way into the hands of customers since Friday, and while the company has tried to describe the ways that they can be used to find lost items, many users are still surprised and disappointed to learn that the location of an AirTag can't be shared with other family members. On the face of it, sharing the location of an AirTag via Apple's...