As part of the modernisation of all operative tasks concerning the marking of the waterway, the previously used steel buoys were replaced by PE buoys and PE light buoys in 2017 (see also Transfer of the tasks concerning the marking of the waterway).
Since 2019, the ongoing roll-out and optimisation of the remote monitoring of floating fairway signs has been taking place. However, the position information of the fairway buoys is not only important for the waterway management in order to be able to optimally monitor the marking of the waterway, but would also be of great benefit to the skippers directly on board.
The RIS COMEX project therefore aims to make the exact position information of fairway buoys on board ships usable and thus facilitate navigation for skippers. The fairway buoys are to be displayed via the navigation chart display software on board the ships. This would also make it possible to set virtual navigation signs - for example in the event of an accident. In 2018, a research cooperation was entered into with the three market leaders in the field of chart display software to ensure a verified and harmonised display of floating fairway marks in the electronic navigation charts. For the display on the Inland ECDIS on board, the digital provision of position data of the fairway signs in the two free-flowing stretches was prepared in 2020. By the end of 2021, it should be possible to display current position data of drifted or displaced buoys in the ECDIS.