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Apple's Maps App Directs Drivers onto Taxiway Bravo at Fairbanks International Airport

Relying on the iPhone map app's directions to get to Fairbanks International Airport is downright dangerous. That’s because the directions take you on a turn-by-turn route to Taxiway Bravo. From there, it's a direct shot across the main runway to the terminal. ( More...

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Chris Padilla 11
It seems to me there is a bigger problem here with the security of the airport. It should not be this easy to just drive right out onto an airport taxi way.
Tim Duggan 7
That's true, but I still think it's hilarious. If the graphic in the article is accurate, the Apple Map directions even say

"1.0 Miles
Turn Right on Taxiway B"

PhotoFinish -2
Gov't never gets things wrong.

1. The gate is not supposed to be closed. The airfield isn't supposed to be restricted. What are we living in a communist totalitarian society.

2. The state transportation database isn't supposed to show the airfield roads/taxiways as a restricted area. See explanation in #1.

[Can also substitute 'airport authority' above in place of 'government'. Bad data has to come from somewhere.]

It's probably not the first time someone showed up at the gate to follow the directions to the terminal. It may have just the first time, someone showed up following the directions and found it open.
1) should keep the gate closed.
2) should have HIGHLY VISIBLE signage indicating that the airfield/ area beyond the gate is a restricted area, authorized persons only.
3) should've noticed that a major mapping/directions program would send cars onto the airfield taxiways AND NOT IGNORED IT.

Too many people ignore critical problems because 'it's not my job'. The very first time a car comes to that gate intending to cross past it onto the airfield because of a public mapping/directions program, the security guard posted at that gate or any other airport employee and their supervisor should make sure the airport manager was aware of the 'issue' so that it can be assigned to an appropriate person for timely follow up and correction.


"Why did you let your house burn down to the ground without calling the fire department?"

"It's the fire department's job to put out fires. Not mine. Plus, I'd rather just make fun of them for their absolute failure to do their job, rather than help them do their job. I'm not a fire fighter. It's not my job."
PhotoFinish 2
Some people don't get sarcasm.
joel wiley 3
Ain't it the truth- no sense of humors either.
AWAAlum 4
There needs to be a "sarcasm" font.
Patrick Smith 1
Slightly OT, but there have been punctuation marks that have been proposed in the past to mark sarcastic or ironic statements; perhaps it's time to embrace them and make the world a better place!

In your favorite search engine, type "sarcmark" or "herve bazin."
skylab72 1
Yeah, like a reverse italic or something...
joel wiley 1
You could try pseuo-HTML such as
<sarcasm> Your comment </sarcasm>
I used to use
<humour> insert joke </humour> until I found people trying to incorporated those into their web pages. They wondered why it didn't load.
Roland Dent 6
Me and my kid ended up on the Siverstone auto racing circuit in the UK in my 20 year old VW wagon..went round a couple of times until we realised it was a one way system. Those corners look easy on the TV but the cambers on them are unreal. Fun times.
James Carlin 6
Hey! My phone is telling me to drive on what looks like a taxiway! I am right next to airplanes that usually are not on public roads. And now I am being told to drive across what looks like a runway! I just saw a jet land! Well, must be the way it is because my phone says so...

How stupid have we all become? Are people really that daft? No wait - please don't answer that. I do not want to get depressed about the future of the human species.
Wayne Jeffrey 6
Why didn't someone at the airport just shut the gate?
Ric Wernicke 5
People approaching my home from the East often have trouble a few hundred yards away. GPS wants to send them over a crick, but the bridge is washed out.

In 1947.
Ric, that's a whole new way to keep out the Rif-Raft. At the Rhinebeck Aerodrome in the 70s, I discovered a country dirt road that comes out of the woods & crosses one the 'drome's hilly "runways". I was politely asked not to go back the same way!
Stonesurfer 8
John Hopkins 4
If you drive from Spain to Gibraltar the road actually crosses the active runway of Gibraltar Airport. Controlled by traffic lights either side of the runway. Scary sitting at the traffic lights and seeing a 737 passing not very far from the front of your car!!
btweston 7
Hmm. The article says that "They even drove past a gate."

Yeah. How dare people drive through open gates. Everyone knows that an open gate means KEEP OUT! DON'T DRIVE THROUGH THIS ENTRANCE THAT COULD HAVE BEEN CLOSED, BUT ISN'T!

So yeah, people shouldn't blindly follow their GPS, but dudes... Close the frickin' gate.
Shows just how stupid people can be, just lead around by their nose and having a complete lack of common sense of what is going on around them. Common sense isn't so common anymore!
In my case, we wanted to rely on our directions and didn't think to challenge them because we were caught up in the moment. After finally seeing each other for the first time in years we wanted to treasure the moment and just trust the directions. We laughted because we thought we were more intelligent than this! We did allowed it to "lead us by our nose" because we just wanted to enjoy being together and nothing else.
My daughter warned me about Apple Maps and told me not to use it but to use Google Maps instead. My cousin insisted it always worked for her and used it to get us to the Dallas Cowboy AT&T stadium just 15 min out...we ended up at a high school stadium! After a good laugh we entered it into our Google Map app and found we were now 40 minutes away. Lesson learned.
Jas Derry 2
BTW the NAVIGON app is now owned by Garmin, so you get an excellent GPS for the iPhone. Updated, clear and concise. . . and as it is on the phone, you always have it for walking and in rental cars without an extra charge.

I have one version for Europe and one for N. America and couldn´t be without them. I put the headset in and if there is a call, I can answer, then it runs in the background. I have a plug USB, so it charges in the car or on the motorcycle.

As I travel a lot, I am often in the situation of hiring a car, bike or walking in foreign cities, but even use it to check taxi-drivers!

I have seen people follow GPS in cars into silly little roads, gravel on bikes, bridges that are gone and a motorway that has not been built yet!!!!! The was a Google Map one in Tunisia and I was driving at night, late already due traffic and so decided to cut over to the "motorway" ......well, it was mounds of sand, piles of rocks and some equipment, so perhaps in 2-3 years it will be there. How could Google get that?????
Hussam Eassa 2
This is one of the reasons I use a Garmin Nuvi GPS to navigate and my iPhone to make calls. I don't care how good the "app" is, I find the dedicated GPS to be superior at navigation. As they say, "jack of all trades, master of none".

Just a thought: What happens if you get an incoming call on the phone/GPS while you are navigating?
Daniel Sutton 3
The GPS will talk in the background while you are on the phone & the map will still be displayed on the screen during the call as well. Though a dedicated GPS is nice sometimes, Google Maps on a Smartphone is more reliable, accurate, updated 10x faster & more frequently than any standalone GPS I've encountered...
PhotoFinish 2
You can use Garmin. They're good. But I hope you update your mapping data regularly (at least yearly, if not monthly, or daily). Oh, that's right. You can't. At least not more frequently than Garmin updates their own maps data for your GPS device, which may be yearly (but for a fee, an update fee).

Soon Google and Apple will be the best mapping/directions apps/devices anywhere. They have millions of people dutifully updating the database(s), just by driving/walking around while living their lives.

Of course a year ago, when Apple first introduced their own mapping program, Google's was better. They had been working on it for more years, and had millions of devices collecting data for them, even Apple devices.

Mapping/directions is a perfect mobile device app.

1. Updates to mapping just happen without user intervention. The Googles and Apples just take care of all thar work. When you use the app, you just get the latest info without having to think about it.

2. You get live info, while out on the road, like current traffic conditions. This can often save real time and help avoid real hassles.

3. With a 8-year old GPS that is never updated, those delivery guys/visitors will wind up on the wrong side of that bridge that has been closed/removed years ago. But with a mobile mapping app, they'll not only not be directed to that missing bridge, but they'll notice that hour(s) long traffic back-up on the interstate due to the multi-vehicle crash that resulted in multiple fatalities
Hussam Eassa 3

You make valid points. I do update the Garmin every couple of months so that's not really an issue. As to point #2, the Garmin has traffic info in some models but I went with the $100 solution without it :)

You have to wonder when you see many aircraft from a single-engine Cessna to a B747-8 with Garmin navigation systems. Garmin must really have their act together since that's pretty much all they do. For Apple and Google, it's a bonus feature and doesn't really get the attention it deserves. You are right in that they are getting better at it.
PhotoFinish 0
Garmin is best of the bunch of legacy GPS device makers. So it would no surprise me to see their devices built into aircraft and anywhere a GPS device could ve handy.

Google and Apple each have many thousands of employees working just on their mapping software. Garmin will not be able to keep up with the expenditure to maintain parity. Especially since the price of devices has dropped sharply, since mapping is available as a core feature of any and every mobile platform worth thir salt.

"Gettting better at it" glosses over the reality that even Garmin units make many serious mistakes, and that Garmin will not be able to keep up.

Sure go ahead and buy cheap Garmin units (or more pricy models of that's how you roll) but don't expect promised updates forever (even for a fee). Certainly don't invest in their company stock, unless you really don't like your money (but then you might as well light a bon fire, or better yet send any surplus money that you no longer want my way).

At best, someone will buy them out for their IP and patents, plus their brain trust. If they don't drag out their death spiral too long. If most if tier best engineers leave or are fired, due to decreasing revenues, their value as a liquidated asset drops accordingly. If they don't look for an opportunity to save whatever little value their company has, as well as to save the jobs of their people, they'll end up with BlackBerry disease, and will find themselves in sold to some random investors for pennies on the dollar, like RIMM just was.
AWAAlum 1
I keep getting notices on my Garmin that it's been over a year since I've updated, even though I may have just done so a few weeks prior. Seems like the updates just don't take!
joel wiley 1
It's grain-o-salt time with my Garmin Nuvi. She insists the best way to head NorthWest from home is to drive thru a gated community. If I delivered pizza, I'd have the gate codes. Since I don't, I don't. I have to use coded waypoints to get around or just ignore the "wait, wait not that way tone". I keep that in mind when in unfamiliar territory. It's persisted thru several updates and 2 notifications to Garmin.
The compass and Mark IV eyeball still work as backup.
Apple maps...
So if the road leads into a river and there no bridge do you go for it?
Tim Duggan 1
Apparently, yes. LOL:

And, in Alaska (again):
Good thing they weren't flying with a gps. Sweet Jesus!
Tim Duggan 1
Aviation database GPS is quite different, and far more accurate.
joel wiley 1
Not to mention Ferrys. New meaning to 'missed the ferry'
ZhaohanDong 1
How can they get past gates?
Jas Derry 1
James (my name brother) I will not tell you about the Russian pilots attempting to land on the road, 90 degrees off the runway orientation at the old Athens airport, demanding that the tower order "those vehicles off the runway!"

"Correct Runway?"


...and that was before GPS...

...or the 747 bearing down on me in Santa Maria as I was sitting on the closed runway. Tower asked if he had the runway in sight, he confirmed, I looked on incredulous and hit my PPT. "You are landing on the closed runway." Never saw a 747 in landing config make such a steep turn! He never said a word back, though...
Les Price 1
Cheaper parking?
James Carlson 1
I think a 709 ride for the driver would be only fair.
not airport related,but to get to my house from the west,the iphone map sends you on a 6 mile unnecessary route,and then down a dead end road on the other side of a impassable ravine,ill tell delivery people or others,like directv service guys,and they tell me they can use their GPS,but they end up at the dead end looking at the water and call ME mad because they got lost.....i tell them how to get here and then when they arrive..i remind them sternly that i tried to tell them but they were too stubborn to 6"5" and a bit and 280...they dont argue back....
PhotoFinish 3
You mixed up GPS directions and iPhone directions (which until recently meant Google map directions).

If they're all getting it wrong, there must be a bridge on some street/highways database (that they're all getting data from), a bridge that no longer exists or was never built. Might be a government transportation department database. Gov't info is "never" wrong or outdated.

If you or one of your neighbors doesn't follow up with your state transportation department, or with your favorite GPS/mapping/directions program, don't expect someone somewhere else to do so on your behalf.
Daniel Sutton 1
PhotoFinish highlights the upside and downside of current map databases. It comes down to the end user sometimes to report current road conditions but the problem is most people expect someone else to do it and then complain when the system doesn't work for them.

Go to google maps & report the map error. You may stop having to use your size to end arguments.
Bernie20910 1
Took me more than a year to get Google maps to remove two driveways in my area that they had listed as through streets. One dead ends in the yard of a friend's farm. The other driveway belongs to another friend, who lives in a house out in the middle of a soybean field and has a mile long dirt driveway. Google STILL insists it's a through street but did mark it as a private road.
PhotoFinish 1
Even if both "driveways" are private roads, they're roads. If anyone needs to get to either person's home/farm for a delivery or just to visit, they will yrVek sling that road. If it is true that both "private" roads dead end on the property, the mapping software wouldn't direct any vehicle along that path, unless their destination was the property in question.

Your description didn't make sense. If there were multiple private roads that cross the property from one end to the other, without a "dead end", then it would make more sense, that a mapping program might direct travelers to cross the property on one of those "private" roads. But as presented, logically inconsistent.
Musketeer1 1
But it costs more, it must be better!
Henry Matias 0
Someone wrote that the runway should not be closed/gated...what are you thinking? Of course Runways and Airport ramps should be secured and only accessible to employees of the Airport authority. Gated and secured with a guard to check credentials before entry.. I'm talking large airports not small private flying club air strips.
PhotoFinish 2
This is a large airport with a small private club strip GA side (which is why there's an open gate). Unfortunately, the open gate provides access not only to the GA side, but easy access to the entire airfield, which could result in a disaster if a commercial airliner is landing at the moment some not too bright individual tries to drive across the airfield to te ramp side of the passenger terminal.

The gate should always be closed and locked, with either a security guard 24/7 or a controlled access gate that opens only for individuals with an electronic key/ fob.

You can't blame a map (electronic or paper), when access to the airfield is uncontrolled.
joel wiley 1
unless you're plaintiff's attorney 8-)
PhotoFinish 1
You just can't have access to a major airport's airfield uncontrolled.

Who cares about plaintiff's attorneys, when the airport shouldn't have provided open access to the entire airfield and any jets parked on the ramp.

A plaintiff's attorney might be able to recover some cash, but will never bring back your family member nor any of the hundreds of people on the plane, who shouldn't have blown up over the Pacific/ Canadian tundra.

Why do we have to take off our shoes, and toss away our bottles of water and Swiss army knives, when all a terrorist needs is a workers overalls, and he can walk right onto the ramp and into any unattended plane?

Either get rid of TSA security theatre, or at least close the gate, and actually limit access to the ramp and airfield to only people who have legitimate business to be there.
Carlos Parra 0
Those people that use the Apple maps in their IPhone 4s should be aware that they are TOTALLY screwed up. Download the Google Maps Ap its much much accurate and you wont drive into a driveway. Last summer we were in Maryland looking for bait, Apple maps took us to a residential neighborhood and in front of a pretty house it said it was there.
joel wiley 1
Did you dig up the lawn for worms? It may have been a S. Jobs Koan.
Carlos Parra 0
We should have done that....he he he


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