The Danube flows through Austria for approximately 350 kilometres and in doing so negotiates a difference in height of over 150 meters. This energy potential is utilised by the nine Danube power plants to produce energy from hydropower. To overcome the height difference, ships have to be locked through at each of these power plants. The smooth and service-oriented operation of the locks is therefore an essential part of a functioning waterway infrastructure. The lock installations themselves are owned by and are the responsibility of Verbund Hydro Power.

In accordance with the provisions of the Waterways Act, the Navigation Act and the Lock Supervision Ordinance, viadonau is responsible for the supervision and traffic control at the Danube locks, as well as the lock at Nussdorf on the Danube Canal.

More than 50 employees, working twelve hour shifts, are responsible for the  supervision of these nine locks and are responsible for the following tasks:

Control and monitoring of vessel traffic at the lock

  • Scheduling of locking sequences
  • Monitoring of lock traffic by radio telephone, radio data with ship positions and radar
  • Technical operation of lock facilities (gates, filling / emptying, light signals)
  • Checking of ships safety equipment, in particular transportation of dangerous goods
  • Measures to be taken after accidents in the area of lock facilities  

Ongoing monitoring of the facility

  • Fairway and water status in the lock area
  • Introduction of relevant measures in case of mechanical failure
  • Special tasks in case of floods or ice  

Contact point for skippers and administrative tasks

  • Advice and information (e.g. current traffic, water levels, shallow sections)
  • Keeping of the electronic lock diary

For more about the locks on the Danube, click here.