The marking of the waterway with appropriate fairway and navigation signs is an essential requirement to ensure the traffic safety of Danube navigation. Up until now, the respective operative tasks (installation, maintenance and removal of all land- and waterside navigation signs) were performed by the shipping inspectorate. Starting in 2016, these activities were gradually outsourced to viadonau. By transferring the responsibilities to the in-house division for Waterway Management, synergies between the individual maintenance and management activities can be exploited. All sovereign tasks will remain with the Supreme Navigation Authority of the BMK - Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (formerly known as BMVIT) and the subordinate shipping inspectorate. 

In the course of a two-year transfer project viadonau has undertaken and simultaneously modernised all operative tasks concerning the marking of the waterway. Standard operation started as of 01.01.2018. 


  • regional offices of the shipping inspectorate
  • Supreme Navigation Authority of the BMK


01.01.2016 – 31.12.2017


  • mid-2016: viadonau undertook the tasks of installing, repairing, maintaining and removing onshore navigation signs and rhythmic lights
  • end of 2016: a concept was elaborated for the transfer, modernisation and optimisation of all fairway marking activities
  • mid-2017: viadonau undertook all obligations concerning the marking of the fairway (water- and landside fairway signals)

News and project status

The transfer project is already concluded.

  • Based on the agreement of 26.07.2016 between the Republic of Austia (BMVIT, now BMK) and viadonau, some essential operative tasks regarding the landside marking of the waterway (navigation signs and rhytmic lights) have been conducted by viadonau since 01.08.2016. 
  • In July 2017, the Amendment of the Waterway Act (Wasserstraßengesetz) entered into force, extending the responsibilities of the Federal Waterway Administration (viadonau) to include the marking of the waterway.
  • In August 2017, viadonau´s new marking craft was baptised "Bojenleger 1". The "Kienstock" was structurally modified and serves as pusher for the vessel. This traffic safety system started operation in autumn 2017.
  • As all operative marking activities are being modernised, the previously used steel buoys were gradually exchanged for PE-buoys. Due to their shape and material characteristics the new buoys are better visible and low-maintenance.   
  • Additionally, all rhythmic lights were exchanged for remotely controlled and solar powered compact units that make maintenance easier. Once a day, the rhythmic lights transmit a status notification, inter alia on the state of their battery. 

The project made a substantial contribution to the implementation of measure 01. Proactively implement customer-oriented waterway management of the Action Programme for the Danube 2022.