back to article Apple Maps directs drivers INTO path of ONCOMING PLANES

It's easy to blame Apple Maps: but why on earth did an airport have a highway-adjoining access road without a manned gate? That's the question The Register is asking after this story popped up in the Alaska Dispatch: “At least twice in the past three weeks, drivers from out of town who followed the directions on their …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thats strange...

    ..the bus following me has wings...

    1. frank ly
      Happy

      Re: Thats strange...

      It's an Airbus.

    2. LarsG

      Re: Thats strange...

      Whether the gate is locked or not, it is no ones fault but the driver. Common sense using your brain and two eyes should have been enough to prevent this.

      It's amazing that some people blame the technology and everything BUT the driver.

      Follow a Tom Tom sat nav from WINSFORD to NORTHWICH and it will take you down a small single track to a railway crossing that has not been opened in 50 years. Seven warning sign tell the driver it is a dead end, not suitable for large vehicles and is access to properties only.

      Yet on a regular basis lorries and coaches have to be towed out.

      Sat nav has turned drivers into empty headed zombies.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thats strange...

        If Apple users had common sense, they wouldn't be Apple Users!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thats strange...

          "If Apple users had common sense, they wouldn't be Apple Users!"

          Well said, and every day we are entertained at the levels of stupidity.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Thats strange...

            Darwin Awards. No need to fix iOS

            1. Michael Thibault
              Joke

              Re: Thats strange...

              It's a feature! And, yes, you're quite welcome.

              Shtum... but an imminent update will include a means to silence media types insistent on highlighting such beneficial-to-the-human-gene-pool features. Can't wait, myself.

        2. PeterM42

          Re: Thats strange...

          SO TRUE - they are the sort of people who fall for the "new release of IOS waterproofs your iPhone" trick!!!!

          http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/sep/26/waterproof-iphone-ad-hoax-tricked-users-into-destroying-their-handsets

      2. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Thats strange...

        A lot of drivers *have* *always* *been* empty headed zombies... satnav is just giving them more opportunities to darwinate.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thats strange...

      Can you imagine how many signs they had to pass to actually get onto the runway - or at least one would hope - I know it's not exactly JFK or Heathrow but really.

      Also I'm sure I've also seen news stories of Garmin (and other GPS / Sat Nav users) ending stuck up minor tracks etc. - so can anyone really claim any sat nav product is perfect?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thats strange...

      Maybe have a look at Gibraltar airport where the road actually goes across the runway! This is stupid drivers and an obvious error in routing - if it showed a route that lead into the sea would you drive straight in??

      1. JulianB

        Re: Thats strange...

        Well, reportedly people have driven directly into the water when they should have waited for a ferry, so yes.

        (Possibly an urban myth of course)

      2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Thats strange...

        "if it showed a route that lead into the sea would you drive straight in??"

        Yes and it will become a Murder She Wrote story line!

    5. Nigel 11

      Re: the bus following me has wings.

      Digression. I once flew on a commuter flight about 200 miles down the US east coast on a plane that looked almost exactly like a Leyland single-decker bus with wings and a tailplane bolted on top. Square fuselage section. The least aerodynamic-looking aeroplane I'd ever seen, and that's including WW1 fighters. A prop-driven thing, unpressurized, with a howling gale coming in under the door and over my feet, so my toes were all but frostbitten by the time I arrived.

      Even so, remember thinking Boston to Long Island airport by plane beats JFK and the Long Island Expressway(*) hands down. (*) Equates to the M25 on a bad day but with more potholes, and more^2 cars.

  2. Blofeld's Cat
    FAIL

    Highway to heaven...

    While it's tempting to have a go at Apple Maps, the real problem here is the airport security.

    There seems little point in scanning passengers and baggage when some geographically-challenged person terrorist can simply drive on to the runway through an open gate and crash into target an aircraft.

    Which part of "secure the perimeter" didn't they understand?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Highway to heaven...

      Presumably the TSA will now check the motorists for nail clippers and make them put 2oz bottles of eye drops into plastic bags - before allowing them onto the runway ?

    2. mraak

      Re: Highway to heaven...

      Highway to heaven, pretty close yes. Unless next time Apple takes you onto the Cape Canaveral launch ramp, which would be closer.

    3. Lars Silver badge

      Re: Highway to heaven...

      "While it's tempting to have a go at Apple Maps". It is indeed, rout optimizing such a fine thing, still I think the airport is to blame.

      Is this sentence "And the airport has issued a notice to pilots suggesting they “remain vigilant when on the east ramp, watch for drivers who appear unfamiliar and report them to the airport" aimed at pilots taking off?. A bit unfair I think.

    4. Don Jefe

      Re: Highway to heaven...

      To be fair, from Fairbanks northward, Alaska is a place best left to people who would have realized something was wrong before they got that far.

      There's an active airfield that crosses the Dalton Highway not too far north of Fairbanks. There's fuck all but some flashing lights to warn you a plane is going to land/takeoff where you're currently driving. In Fairbanks there's at least an actual airport with traditional airport structures everywhere; it is hard to miss...

      We used to have an outpost in Deadhorse and I have to say, the majority of people up there are not nearly as clueless as elsewhere. Being stupid or unaware will get you dead quick.

    5. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Highway to heaven...

      What I really don't understand is how this happened more than once before they decided they need to do something.

      No check that, it never should have happened even once, regardless of where their phone told them to go. Of all the people who worked at the airport and knew it was possible for just anyone to drive onto the main runway, didn't someone mention it to the powers that be?

      I find it almost impossible to think they hadn't done so, many times. Whoever they went to and got the brush off from (maybe because not having a fence there saves him a few minutes getting to/from work) should be fired.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Highway to heaven...

      There's a couple of issues with the Maps and the POIs on the map.

      Nothing new here, Just incomplete data.

      This is one reason why Nokia has an advantage. They have HERE. (Not that I like the name...)

      The only good thing is that because the map data i centrally controlled its easy to update a fix.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RAF Machrihanish

      Remember Paul McCartney and Mull of Kintyre?

      Lived on the RAF station in my early teens and used to have to cross over the runway to get to the beach, in the days when 13/14 year olds were still allowed to stalk the land with their friends armed with air rifles. Those were the days. We were just told to look left and right and then cross.

      Have fond memories of my mum driving the old Ford Cortina XL with black vinyl roof and breaking down right on the centre line of the runway... Happy Days.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: RAF Machrihanish

        Lived on the RAF station in my early teens and used to have to cross over the runway to get to the beach

        Think you drive across the airport runway to get in or out of Gibraltar. Maybe the Spanish will start to use the excuse of "safety to aircraft" as one of their reasons for delaying everyone at the border

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Highway to heaven...

      "While it's tempting to have a go at Apple Maps, the real problem here is the airport security."

      No it isn't. It's only iFools following sat nav blindly AND Crapple Maps being wildly inaccurate.

      Google maps delivers you to the door, not the taxi way.

      It's just yet another Apple FAIL!

      1. Justin Clements

        Re: Highway to heaven...

        >>Google maps delivers you to the door, not the taxi way.

        No they don't. I bought my first Android phone yesterday, played with Google Maps and it instantly directly me down a cul-de-sac as if it was a through road! (I knew it was a cul-de-sac so didn't follow it).

        1. Don Jefe

          Re: Highway to heaven...Is Shown With Paper Streets

          A significant issue here in the US are what are called "paper streets". They are the streets, roads and highways show on official maps but may or may not have any bearing in reality. The huge network of roads in any given place is managed by a combination of city, county, state and Federal agencies; which all use different maps which are all updated at different times.

          The Satnav people have to get their data from somewhere and it usually starts with the official maps. Google maps shoes a road about half a mile from my house that in the last seven years I had never noticed. It is labeled at a main state road so I couldn't have missed it. I went for a walk where this road was supposed to be, and after a while I came across old guardrail marking the edge of the road. The surface had been covered over and nature had almost eliminated any indications of the road. After some research I discovered the road was rerouted in 1976... It was still on all the official maps, but there hasn't been a road there in nearly 40 years.

          The little town up the road from me shows several streets on their official maps, as do higher level maps based on those, but the roads were never built. The original town layout, from 1848 when those roads were planned is still the information source used by all the satnav companies. One of the roads is shown on Google Maps as a continuous street with one name. In reality it is two dead end streets with a huge ravine between them: A bridge was supposed to be built there but never was. They gave each road a new name, but the paper source maps were never updated, creating paper streets that appear only on paper.

          Paper streets real problem these days, anywhere outside of major cities. It wasn't always such a big deal, but people also used to know how to read maps and find work arounds if something was wrong.

        2. John Bailey

          Re: Highway to heaven...

          And did you update the information?

          My home was marked as being a few hundred meters down the road, where a building with a similar name exists.

          Got my first device with GPS last year, and saw the error.. Reported it, and the change went live a few days later.

          Now I get noticeably fewer takeaway delivery people unable to find me.

          Any GPS system is only as good as the maps it uses, so make them better. Be the change you want to be.

    9. Franklin

      Re: Highway to heaven...

      "While it's tempting to have a go at Apple Maps, the real problem here is the airport security."

      That was my first thought. Who attaches a runway to a public road? What person thought that made sense?

      There's a little town in Oregon that has a small general aviation airfield next to a Chinese restaurant, so the enterprising owners of the restaurant extended a taxiway into their parking lot and provide small aircraft tie-downs in said parking lot. Makes flying into town for a bit of take-out easy, I suppose, but I still question the wisdom of connecting runways to roads.

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Highway to heaven...

      SIRI must kill all the fleshlings to prepare the Robot-Apocalypse!

  3. M Gale

    Security theatre aside, wouldn't a bit of yellow tape strung across the entrance kinda indicate that this is not an entrance for unauthorised personnel?

    Really. Couple of $ worth of yellow gaffer tape to tide them over until the airport can afford a barrier. Emergency vehicles can still plough on through, and you'd have to be exceptionally, undeserving-of-a-driving-license thick in order to not notice it.

    There. No need to thank me. Just get it done before some lost driver collapses some undercarriage and makes a few hundred people go splat.

    1. PsychicMonkey

      I think

      you underestimate the stupidity of people in general, especially those that follow the directions of a satnav blindly.

      They would see the tape and assume it didn't apply to them because the sat nav said it was ok....

      1. WatAWorld

        don't blame the public, the sign gives permission to drive on the taxiway

        You could read the actual physical sign and still go ahead, so don't blame the public.

        "Proceed with caution.

        All roadways

        in this area are

        used by aircraft

        Yield to

        Taxing Aircraft"

        They don't need yellow tape, they have a barrier, but the barrier is up.

        1. Martin H Watson

          Re: don't blame the public, the sign gives permission to drive on the taxiway

          Taxing Aircraft? Are they the tiring ones or the ones who work for the revenue?

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      "Security theatre aside, wouldn't a bit of yellow tape strung across the entrance kinda indicate that this is not an entrance for unauthorised personnel?"

      Pretty sure a sign saying

      RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS - KEEP CLEAR !!!11!!

      would be more effective these days.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Security theatre aside, wouldn't a bit of yellow tape strung across the entrance kinda indicate that this is not an entrance for unauthorised personnel?

      Really. Couple of $ worth of yellow gaffer tape to tide them over until the airport can afford a barrier. Emergency vehicles can still plough on through, and you'd have to be exceptionally, undeserving-of-a-driving-license thick in order to not notice it.

      There. No need to thank me. Just get it done before some lost driver collapses some undercarriage and makes a few hundred people go splat."

      That's why no one listens to you. You can't even see the folly in your own advice.

      Shocking!

  4. MrDamage
    Facepalm

    The only thing a mechanic can't fix

    Is the loose nut behind the wheel.

    Situations like this are both an argument for, and against, self driving cars. You would like to trust the car, but it wouldnt guard against idiot owners, and bad programming.

    1. Chairo
      Facepalm

      Re: The only thing a mechanic can't fix

      I wonder what kind of disclaimer you would have to accept to use a self driving car -

      "Under no circumstances shall the maker, or anyone who distributes or maintains covered vehicle be liable to You for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any character including, without limitation, damages for lost profits, loss of goodwill, or loss of your life."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The only thing a mechanic can't fix

      In this particular case it is the ones operating the airport.

      With all due respect, Fairbanks is an international airport. There _MUST_ not be a way for unauthorized personnel to get onto the runway (especially with a vehicle). Just goes to show that security circus is what it is - circus. Frisking innocent passengers while someone can take a fertilizer truck onto the runway.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: The only thing a mechanic can't fix

        What's wrong with gardening?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The only thing a mechanic can't fix

        I'm pretty staggered that in a developed country you can get onto the runway by passing through one open, unmanned barrier.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: The only thing a mechanic can't fix

          I know of a military airbase with operational supersonic fighters where you can drive onto the runway. It isn't in Britain, but it is in the EU. I'm not going to say where, but they fly Swedish-made jets ...

    3. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: The only thing a mechanic can't fix

      "and bad programming"

      Come on it took them to the centre of the airport, if they didn't specify a carpark like most Sat Nags it will place it in the centre.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google maps doesn't send you to the runway

    It sends you to the "Bush Pilot Restaurant and Lounge" at the airport, with a cocktail glass symbol.

    Wouldn't want the bush pilots flying without a few cocktails first.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not entirely blame apple but...

    Of course due to legal things they will not say anything like "Sorry about that - we'll try harder" , but it does bug me a little that big companies like apple roll out a half baked solution that does have real implications and don't really take any responsibility for it. Medical equipment and aviation equipment have standards to meet so why not maps - people can get lost and die or get run over by a 737.

    There is a reason Nokia took a very long time to release maps - they wanted to be sure they were right.

    Google took a long time to get it right and here comes apple who shit unicorns so lets not question that their maps will be perfect... we're all obviously using them wrong.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: not entirely blame apple but...

      @jeremy - "it does bug me a little that big companies like apple roll out a half baked solution that does have real implications and don't really take any responsibility for it"

      I would agree, but every time I drive to San Antonio and get on the upper deck of the highway interchange, my Garmin GPS tells me to jump the guard rail and crash my car onto the lower deck of the highway. My general tendency is not to follow these instructions that would lead to my certain death.

      Sometimes, no matter how reputable the mapping company, the driver has to pay attention and apply real-world driving skills rather than following GPS directions. There's no way in hell I would ever drive a car out onto an airport runway. I don't see any real fault for Apple here - this is just a small number of drivers trying to make their way onto the annual Darwin Awards list.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: not entirely blame apple but...

        Do you really think that Google Maps doesn't have any bugs? Maybe the really stupid ones like this have been found and fixed, but Google Maps was not introduced to the world in a perfect state and still isn't perfect. I remember when it first came out I tried it a bit and stuck with Mapquest because it was so terrible.

        If computer assisted mapping technology had to be perfect before it could be deployed, we'd all still be driving around with the Rand McNally Road Atlas my dad always took along anytime we went on a long family trip somewhere.

        I just don't understand how people don't pay attention to their surroundings just because their phone or their GPS tells them where to turn. If they had someone in the passenger seat telling them where to go and he told them to turn onto an airport runway, I think they might be more likely to question it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: not entirely blame apple but...

        "I don't see any real fault for Apple here"

        WHAT! Thanks that your not in charge.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: not entirely blame apple but...

      So Nokia maps are perfect? Yeah right. Things change quicker than mapping companies could keep up to date and remember many buy-in the data from 3rd parties anyway - so if someone else uses the same mapping data Apple did they may have the same bug.

  7. Tommy Pock

    bong

    "In 150 yards, turn left to join the A380"

    1. hi_robb

      Re: bong

      "Then please switch your phone to flight mode"

  8. Cliff

    That's scary!

    Scary if you were in a heavy and some idiot slavishly followed their GPS onto the runway on front of you. Docking terrifying that the airport say it's happened TWICE.

    One thing aviation is normally good at is learning lessons. Something goes wrong, people work out what it was, it gets fixed either in every plane of that type or every airport, or whatever. Point is that you're much less likely to die in the sky in 2013 than 1963 because of lessons learnt and applied. So how the fact this happened twice is scary - someone clearly knew there was a problem and actively chose not to follow it up and prevent it recurring. That person should not be in aviation.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: That's scary!

      He isn't, he is in Homeland Security.

  9. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

    Security by obscurity

    At my local airport they put huge boulders in front of the terminal building to stop terrorists crashing through.

    You cannot stop there, no, rather carry your bags an extra 50yds in the pouring rain.

    Drive 200yds and there is a flimsy barrier to access the runway which any 4x4 could smash through easily.

    All the hassle of being searched and having your toothpaste confiscated is a waste of time.

  10. Filippo

    There are three sides at fault here, and, frankly, Apple is the least of them. Navigators are not perfect, they can't be, and they should be expected to make the occasional mistake.

    On the other hand, drivers should not follow a satnav's direction blindly, and signs - not to mention common sense - always take precedence over whatever the satnav is saying.

    And finally, what the hell? The airport has a direct access from the public road to the runway that doesn't even have a fence? I'm not calling for three meters tall concrete walls, but seriously, every airport I've ever seen in the first world has at least a fence. Anyone could be an idiot even without a satnav.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "There are three sides at fault here, and, frankly, Apple is the least of them."

      EH?

      Google user types in the airport anme and is guided to the door.

      Apple (l)user types in airport name and is guided to a rear entry. And that is not Apples fault?

      WRONG just plain WRONG.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        So there are no such examples where Google Maps is at fault? If you really believe that, you're going to end up being one of the fools who blindly follows his phone's directions and discounts anything his eyes might say to the contrary.

        Hope you enjoy it when Google Maps directs you onto an unmaintained road where you get stuck and have to call for rescue. Cuz it does that sometimes, along with Apple Maps, Nokia's, Garmin and every other vendor.

  11. Ralph B
    Angel

    Your Fruity Future

    It's not a bug, it's a Beta.

    This is clearly a very early prototype Apple self-driving vehicle functionality. In the future your iCar will drive onto the airport runway in a very tight convoy with a number of other iCars, a bodyless iWings aeroplane will then approach from behind, attach to the iCar convoy and then accelerate as a single entity into the air.

    You've got to expect some early teething problems though.

  12. Ommerson

    For drivers with a legitimate reason to go airside, this is probably the correct route.

  13. mhenriday
    FAIL

    «It just flies !»

    Think I'll copyright that before Apple's lawyers get 'round to doing so....

    Henri

  14. Shane McCarrick

    Some things never change

    Reminds me of a case from over 10 years ago- when I was an agent supporting Navtech Germany.

    We used get incidents like this- not infrequently.

    One particular case I remember was a motorist being directed onto an informal Bundeswehr firing range some distance to the South of Frankfurt. While it was well known to locals- the area was very popular with tourists to the area particularly during holiday periods, and at the time GPS devices were a novelty that some of the car rental companies were enthusiastically embracing (as much as a marketing gimmick as anything else).

    We ended up on the wrong end of a court case- over some poor misguided individual, who appears to have been incapable of reading the warning signs- and drove onto the live range, in their VW Golf, and was apparently enthusiastically shot at, by some of the conscripts- before it was ascertained that it wasn't a moving target for them to aim at.

    Akin to the issue at the Alaskan airport- for whatever reason, the Bundeswehr saw no particular necessity to post sentries at access points to the range- probably imagining no-one would be so stupid as to deliberately drive onto the range.

    I don't know what the outcome of the court case was- though as it was prior to our indoctrination in ridiculous US court cases- I hope the fool had his case thrown out.

    Incidentally, the Bundeswehr no longer allow live target practice on holidays or weekends. I guess the equivalent Alaskan solution would be to close Runway B...........

  15. ukgnome

    Video Game Generation

    This happens all the time on video games. Maybe we have been desensitised to normal road and traffic conditions. Just the other day I found myself jumping over pipes....etc etc

  16. Fab De Marco

    Users, Users Users!

    Not really apple maps fault. Sure they could direct users to the car park or drop off point (google maps does) but why should they. If you asked for directions to a shopping mall, it would probably direct you to the middle of the complex. Does that mean you drive your car into the building like some kind of hollywood shoot 'em up? No. You use the sat nav to get you to the general location then follow the signs for car parking. If the signage is poor then that's the fault of the airport or local authority.

    If you are expecting these things to take you to the door every time may I suggest taking the bus. Or wait a few years and take a Johnny Cab as suggested elsewhere in this thread

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Users, Users Users!

      "Not really apple maps fault."

      Apple users praise the ease of use/reliability/power behind the name/it just works ethos.

      So when an iFool uses the device with said faith and is FAILED by Apple, Apple is not to blame?

      Stop trying to mitigate. Apple have failed.

      Yes I agree, the driver should take obey the road signs, but they have put their faith in Apple getting it right, which it rarely does.

      Can't have your cake and eat it.

  17. WatAWorld

    The warning sign seems to grant drivers permission to access the taxiway

    It takes 2 minutes to find the road in Google Maps. There is an unmanned barricade which is up.

    The warning sign says:

    "Proceed with caution.

    All roadways

    in this area are

    used by aircraft

    Yield to

    Taxing Aircraft"

    So as a southerner, up in "America's last frontier" as they call it, why would you think you could not drive there?

    Pretty much the sign gives you official permission, provided you yield to taxing aircraft.

    1. WatAWorld

      Re: The warning sign seems to grant drivers permission to access the taxiway

      Here is the link to that entrance. Just zoom in on StreetView.

      http://www.google.com/maps?sll=49.85382200000001%2C-97.15222510000001&sspn=0.3400574135027825%2C0.7033335176017699&t=m&ll=64.82229850000002%2C-147.83377009999995&q=Fairbanks+Airport+alaska&spn=0.006416576425767477%2C0.020110275582774628&output=classic&dg=opt

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The warning sign seems to grant drivers permission to access the taxiway

      Are many of the roads you drive on designated 'All roadways in this area are used by aircraft'

      Common sense = 0

    3. Pookietoo

      Re: There is an unmanned barricade which is up.

      The barricade was down when I looked just now.

  18. hardboiledphil

    I'm impressed...

    ...That you can get even remotely close to the airport. A recent trip to Stansted meant I had to pay money not to park but just to get out of the car and then walk (albeit a short distant) to the terminal when I was dropped off there.

    Remember folks Gmaps used to be terrible but to 5 years of people fixing it for it to become reasonable. We should all really be fixing OpenMaps and sharing the information from that rather than funding lord knows how many independent mapping organisations.

  19. john devoy

    Punish drivers

    Anyone following a sat nav into a clearly stupid position should get points on their license. It's a sign that they're too dumb to be allowed on the roads.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What next - you are parked on level 5 of a multi-storey - should it show you how to drive down to street level or should you just drive through the barriers and down to ground level the quick and direct way? Common sense seems to have been lost. Perhaps that is the correct route for people who should be driving there but there again I would not drive into somewhere clearly dangerous even if the barrier were up - so people want zero responsibility these days?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The "quick and dirty" way worked for Matt Damon ....

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One to die for.

    Reminds me of that ancient James Bond Movie.

    Live and Let Die.

    Obviously this lost lot get to still live but all in all, the iPhone is the one to die for.

  22. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    My car's GPS...

    It says, "TURN RIGHT..."

    So I do, and immediately crash through the flimsy guard rail and over the cliff.

    As I'm falling, it continues, "...IN TWO HUNDRED METERS."

  23. Maharg

    Not just apples fault

    This is not apples fault, their maps might be dodgy, but these people would not have been able to do this if the airport had bothered with a simple gate or a barrier, either with a card or passcode entrance. How is it multi story car parks have better car deterrents then a bloody airport runway?

    If you’re following a satnav and come across a gate at an airport you don’t blindly drive through it, crashing into barriers, twisted metal and sparks flying everywhere while you shout “THE SAT NAV TOLD ME TO DO IT!” recalculate and find a different route.

    This is not as simple as people being stupid and driving down a narrow lane, this is about access to a runway at an international airport, in the USA, seriously, it’s not like the US has had any issues with airport security in the past, this was a suicide bombers dream, what’s the point in buying a ticket, going through customs, smuggling a bomb? Just drive into the sodding plane from the highway!

    And how did this happen more than once? The first time someone drives onto the runway of an airport. After stopping them isn’t one of the first questions you ask, “how did you get on the runway” and when they say there was nothing stopping me you do something about it!

    I hope whoever is in charge of security at the airport either was given a right bollocking and is having a complete review of what other basic things they have missed, or is looking for a new job.

  24. Tromos
    Joke

    That's what I want for my android phone...

    ...combo satnav and Instrument Landing System.

  25. Mister_C
    Boffin

    Future proof

    "why on earth did an airport have a highway-adjoining access road without a manned gate"

    They built it to be ready for flying cars.

    simples

  26. MatsSvensson

    Aaaaaaaaaaa.....

    = Posted from my iPhone =

  27. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Not really the drivers' fault

    I know this seems to have a lot in common with idiots driving into rivers and trucks stuck on farm tracks, but when you think about the environment of the average airport, it's not so clear-cut.

    I imagine Fairbanks isn't exactly Heathrow, but if it's an international airport it's likely to be surrounded with a maze of approach roads and ramps, together with a forest of signage that guarantees information overload. Add to that the tension that frequently accompanies a drive to the airport, and you can understand people taking the wrong turn when the satnav tells them to.

  28. stephajn

    See video

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIakZtDmMgo

    It could happen to anyone.....if you are about as smart as this guy....

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's the problem...

    This post is anon for a couple of obvious reasons... ;-)

    First, Apple isn't using Google or HERE (Navteq) map data.

    While I haven't worked with the exact data set, I have a pretty good idea what the problem is...

    1) Road data is incomplete. So while you can look at a map and see a road, do you know what type it is? Also is the road type (which could be missing) a part of your route calculation?

    2) The POI data is incomplete. (Note that while the guidance with the address works, the guidance to the POI doesn't . Anyone remember their basic math? How do you define a point? Hint: while we can put a pin in a map and say here's the airport, the POI is more complex. You have different buildings, structures, entrances, roadways... all of this needs to be mapped out. Since Apple buys their data, they are at the mercy of the data provider to accurately map out these details. Its the same for shopping malls and other large structures where there is more than one entrance or access roads.

    Now this can be fixed. But it takes time, money and an effort of people who know what they are doing.

    Do you say that your iPhone is to blame, or Apple's arrogance in terms of management?

    I know for the fact that they've hired a few people who know something about the map data, however, until they start to collect their own data and spend some of their money on humans to review and fix the data....

    They will continue to have this problem.

  30. Gartal

    Vigilance

    "remain vigilant when on the east ramp, watch for drivers who appear unfamiliar and report them to the airport"

    One assumes that a pilot taking off or landing is vigilant on any ramp at all though I wonder how a pilot coming in to land at however many klicks/hr is going to find the time to distinguish between drivers who appear unfamiliar and those who appear familiar.

  31. BrownishMonstr

    Terrorism

    Obviously the blame lies with the terrorists. If they were clever enough to find alternative ways into the airport, other than the front door, the management would find the entrance a risk. Still, I doubt the Taliban or Al Qaeeda will utilise the chance until it's too late, obviously a stupid bunch of people who like to claim failed attempts.

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