Apple Maps originally offered this dangerous route to the airport in Fairbanks.

Apple Maps originally offered this dangerous route to the airport in Fairbanks.

An Alaskan airport has closed an aircraft access route due to a glitch in Apple Maps that directs drivers up to an active runway.

The map stops at the tarmac, but twice this month, wayward drivers have continued across an active runway, an airport official said.

It could have been a very, very, very dangerous situation had they come during a flight departure or arrival. 

Angie Spear, Fairbanks International Airport

"It doesn't actually tell you to cross, but the problem is, people see the terminal then at that point, because they are right there, and they just continue across," said Fairbanks International Airport spokeswoman Angie Spear.

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The best of the worst in Apple Maps

Steep drop after the Anzac Bridge in Sydney.

There were no injuries in either the September 6 incident or the second one last Friday, mainly because they both happened early in the morning, between flights.

"Obviously, it could have been a very, very, very dangerous situation had they come during a flight departure or arrival," Spear said.

That entrance to the taxiway has now been barricaded from traffic.

Apple Maps' faulty route to the airport.

Apple Maps' faulty route to the airport.

The first incident involved an out-of-state visitor trying to return a rental car before a flight, and the second was an Alaskan resident trying to get to the airport.

Once the control tower and airport personnel noticed the cars, the people were safely escorted away.

"Both parties that did it said they were following the directions on their iPhone," Spear said.

Google Maps offers a safer route around the airport.

Google Maps offers a safer route around the airport.

Apple Maps has been criticised heavily by both users and commentators since its release in September 2012, with frustrated users labelling it embarrassing, appalling, illogical, incomplete and erroneous.

Apple chief executive made a public apology for releasing the flawed app before it was ready just a week after its release, and even took the unprecedented step of recommending its rival Google Maps.

In December 2012, Victorian police said they were "extremely concerned" at another Apple Maps glitch caused several motorists to become stranded in searing heat in the Murray-Sunset National Park.

In July this year, Alaskan state Representative Les Gara had a close call of his own when he was trying to make a flight after a meeting.

He was in an unfamiliar part of Fairbanks and decided to use Apple Maps on his iPhone to take the shortest route to the airport.

Gara said the app took him to some weird places in Fairbanks, and then to the small plane airport near the international airport.

"Eventually, it told me to make a right onto the small plane runway, which in fact was the shortest way to get to the big airport," he said. "I give the iPhone app credit for that."

But he did not heed the directions: "I'm not a big fan of driving on runways."

After the first incident, airport personnel immediately attempted to contact Apple. The airport is a state facility, and the Alaskan attorney general's office also reached out to the Apple legal department.

"It was our understanding it would be taken care of last week," Spear said, but then the second mishap happened on Friday.

Apple had finally disabled the directions by Wednesday evening, she said. This was seemingly confirmed in a test by Fairfax Media on an iPad and iPhone running iOS 7.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

To be fair, the drivers deserve some of the blame.

The maps stop at the runway, but the drivers continued more than a kilometre through a gate, past warning lights, numerous signs and painted concrete markings saying not to proceed.

"All of these things were disregarded," Spear said, "because people simply trusted their device more than they trusted what they were seeing."

AP/Fairfax Media