The Danube Ministers of Transport endorsed the Fairway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan on 3rd December 2014 in Brussels. The EU funded project "FAIRway Danube" implements several crucial measures of the Master Plan and thereby sets an important step towards the further realisation of the Master Plan along the Danube and its navigable tributaries.
Up-to-date, reliable and harmonized information on shallow sections, on water levels and water level forecasts should be made available all along the Danube. Not only are they important for the planning of transports on the waterway, but also for its maintenance, the design of river engineering measures or relocating the fairway. In the course of FAIRway the waterway authorities will implement the following activities:
- create coordinated national action plans and outline pilot activities to implement the Master Plan
- coordinated purchase of advanced equipment for hydrological services (gauging stations, surveying vessels etc.)
- realization and evaluation of pilot activities:
- basic data for all critical sections
- coherent monitoring scheme for the navigation status
- harmonised water level forecasts
- optimized relocation of the fairway
- develop innovative approaches
- prepare necessary documentation for future implementation projects of the Master Plan
FAIRway Danube is being implemented by seven project partners:
- viadonau (Austria), as project coordinator
- SVP - Slovenský vodohospodársky podnik (Slovakia)
- OVF - Orszagos Vizugyi Foigazgatosag together with NIF - Nemezeti Infrastruktura Fejleszto Zrt. (Hungary)
- MMPI - Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure (Croatia)
- EAEMDR - Executive Agency for Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube River (Bulgaria)
- AFDJ - Administration of the Lower Danube (Romania)
- ACN - Administration of the Navigable Canals (Romania)
- The National Action Plans with a status report on the situation at critical locations along the Danube and a list of rehabilitation and maintenance activities of all partners are being updated twice per year, in May and October.
- The feasibility study on the modernisation of the Gabčíkovo lock was finalised in 2016.
- Meeting of the European transport ministers on 20.06.2016. The National Action Plans served as input.
- Regular user fora are conducted by all FAIRway partners in their respective countries. The annual Austrian user forum is called "Bau- und Schifffahrtsbesprechung".
- The tendering procedure of the transnational Waterway Monitoring System (WAMOS) is ongoing.
- The synchronisation of harmonised water level forecasts has begun.
- The Hungarian surveying and marking vessel were baptised by TEN-T coordinator Karla Peijs. The Slovak surveying and marking vessel were put into operation.
- The transnational Waterway Monitoring System (WAMOS) started its operation in November 2019.
- The implementation of harmonised water level forecasts is progressing well.
Pilot activities were started:
- 5 surveying vessels and one single-beam echosounder
- 37 gauging stations
- 4 multifunctional marking vessels
were put into pilot operation by the respective waterway administrations.
In 2020, the nationwide pilot operation of the purchased equipment in Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania took place for the first time.
The transnational pilot operation will continue in 2021 and will be successfully completed in the fourth quarter as part of an event planned in Romania.
The feasibility study carried out for the Gabčíkovo locks was an important basis for the currently ongoing investment project for rehabilitation of these locks. On the basis of this model, the Serbian lock chambers at the Iron Gate (Djerdap 1) will now also be renovated by 2021. Both projects are carried out with financial support by the EU.
The involvement of waterway users and interest groups take place as annually national stakeholder meetings in Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania. The project results are presented in Austria within the framework of the construction and shipping discussions.
The project makes a substantial contribution to the implementation of measure
05. Promote harmonised waterway management in the Danube region of the Action Programme for the Danube 2022.