Apple gives Dublin a new 'airfield'

 

Surely not? Minister for Justice Alan Shatter claimed today that pilots could be misled into trying to make an emergency landing on  a farm in Dublin because of an error on a new Apple online map tool.

In a statement - which may or may not have been slightly tongue-in-cheek - the Minister said he has notified the tech giant of a mistake in his south Dublin constituency and asked for it to be urgently corrected.

"I know on occasion mistakes can be made and I am surprised to discover that Airfield, which is in the centre of my constituency in Dundrum, has, in Apple’s new operating system iOS 6 maps application, been designated with the image of an aircraft," he said, getting straight to the core of the issue.

Apple’s new iOS 6 maps application has placed a standard airport map symbol on the spot of Airfield, a 35-acre site that is home to a city farm, gardens and a cafe.

“In context of Airfield there are a variety of possible alternative images that could be utilised such as a cow, a goat, a sheep, a flower or any indeed other type of plant, as Airfield operates a nursery,” Mr Shatter's statement said. “An aircraft is an entirely inappropriate flight of imagination.”

Paul Cullen, director of safety and technical with the Irish Airline Pilots Association (Ialpa), said Mr Shatter’s concerns were unwarranted, as he doubted pilots would be using phones for navigation.

“If it was a real emergency in a small aircraft you would be looking for a landing strip and you wouldn’t have time to take your phone out to look for an airport,” he said.

Mr Cullen said commercial aircraft would only use industry-recognised navigational equipment. “Small aircraft can use anything from a road atlas up, you wouldn’t even necessarily be using a compass because you’d be flying visually,” he said. “They’d use a lot of physical features, rivers, train lines, you’d see it is not an airport.”

The error was spotted by Twitter user Aleesha Tully aka @aleeshajulia who tweeted:  "Not only did #Apple give us #iOS6... They also gave us a new airport off the Upper Kilmacud Road! Yay! pic.twitter.com/auN9u3kh"

Dublin Airport quickly moved - not literally, obviously - to dispel any concerns. It tweeted: “Just in case anybody is confused Dublin Airport is not moving to the southside. #mapfail.”

Airfield is currently closed for renovations until next year.

Of course, it's not the only mistake in the map. Apple have also managed to move Dublin Zoo to Temple Bar.

Twitter user Olga Ní Gíorra aka  @fit_gurl spotted this beauty: "Since when did @DublinZoo move to temple bar? #applemaps pic.twitter.com/Iw2J3FnK"

Stumbled across any more blunders? Email us at news@irishtimes.com with the subject line "Apple borks Dublin"

Additional reporting: PA

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