Apple (wrongly) puts new airport on the map


SURELY NOT? Minister for Justice Alan Shatter yesterday said pilots could be misled into trying to make an emergency landing on a farm in Dublin because of an error on a new Apple iPhone map tool.

In a statement – possibly slightly tongue-in-cheek – the Minister said he had notified the tech giant of an error 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 iOS6 maps application, been designated with the image of an aircraft,” he said.

Apple’s new iOS6 maps app 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 the 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 indeed any 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 use 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. Commercial aircraft would use industry-recognised navigational equipment, he added.

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!”

Dublin Airport tweeted: “Just in case anybody is confused, Dublin Airport is not moving to the southside. #mapfail.”