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Originally published September 27, 2013 at 1:58 PM | Page modified September 27, 2013 at 2:59 PM

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Faulty app directions to Alaska runway disabled

Twice, drivers crossed active runway in Fairbanks while following iPhone instructions.

The Associated Press

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — There’s a way to get to the Fairbanks Airport, just don’t ask your iPhone for help.

Apple has disabled driving directions to the Fairbanks International Airport after a glitch in its maps app guided drivers to the edge of a runway instead of a terminal, airport spokeswoman Angie Spear said Friday. Two times, drivers continued on and cut across an active runway to reach the terminal.

“I wouldn’t describe it necessarily as a fix, they just deactivated the directions,” Spear said.

Spear said now, when someone puts in the airport as their final destination, “a message pops up and says, ‘Directions not available, direction cannot be found between these locations,’” she said.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple didn’t immediately return a message to The Associated Press on Friday.

Previous directions on newer iPhones and iPads guided drivers to the edge of the tarmac instead of the correct route to the terminal. In incidents Sept. 6 and Sept. 20, drivers went through a gate, past warning lights and signs, and then across an active runway, to reach the terminal.

There were no injuries since both incidents happened early in the morning, between flights.

The first mishap involved an out-of-state visitor trying to return a rental car before a flight, and the second was an Alaska resident, not from Fairbanks, trying to get to the airport.

The airport has since barricaded that entrance to the taxiway. A sign posted there gives a phone number for people to call to get the correct directions to the airport.

After the first incident, airport authorities immediately attempted to contact Apple. The airport is a state facility, and the Alaska attorney general’s office also reached out to Apple Inc.’s legal department to get the map fixed.

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