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Map's airport claim 'plane' wrong


Apple has been urged to correct a mapping error

Apple has been urged to correct a mapping error

Apple has been urged to correct a mapping error

Technology gurus at Apple left Irish customers pondering whether pigs might fly after a city farm was inadvertently marked airport on an online mapping tool.

The blunder prompted the country's Justice Minister Alan Shatter to warn pilots they risk emergency landing on the "Airfield" tourist spot in his south Dublin constituency.

The minister said: "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. An aircraft is an entirely inappropriate flight of imagination."

The marking, on Apple's i SO6 application, was first spotted by Aleesha Tully and posted on her @aleeshajulia Twitter account.

It showed the 35-acre site, Airfield, Dundrum, which is home to farm animals, gardens and a cafe, was inappropriately marked with the standard airport symbol.

The error prompted Dublin Airport Authority to move quickly, in a manner of speaking, again using Twitter: "Just in case anybody is confused @DublinAirport is not moving to the southside. #mapfail."

No one from Apple could be reached for comment.

But the need for Mr Shatter's warning did not wash with experienced pilots operating in busy Dublin airways - Paul Cullen, director of safety and technical with the Irish Airline Pilots Association, said he doubted pilots would be using phones for navigation.

Mr Shatter, who is understood to have seen the reference to Airfield first-hand, prompting his alert, said he accepts mistakes can be made but added that he has asked officials to contact Apple and ask for the map error to be fixed, describing the designation as "dangerously misleading".

Mr Cullen added that he also doubted there was any need for concerns that recreational pilots would be preparing to land on the farm after spotting it on their phones, adding that commercial aircraft would only use industry recognised navigational equipment.

PA Media