FAIRway Danube actively supports waterway management authorities in 6 countries along the Danube in improving waterway management activities on their particular section. On 13 December 2016 the project partners reported on the progress made within the first 18 project months under the lead of the Austrian Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology and viadonau.

river bed survey on the danube

The core element of FAIRway Danube – high-quality river bed surveys facilitate modern waterway management on the Danube. Photo: © viadonau/Andi Bruckner

Between 2015 and 2020 FAIRway Danube provides current and harmonized information about shallow sections, water levels and water level forecasts. Available depths will be used optimally by adapting the location of the fairway to the highest possible water depths and the most suitable nautical conditions. In parallel, FAIRway Danube aims at preparing the harmonized rehabilitation of the Danube and its navigable tributaries. Pilot operations of new harmonised services for waterway users and the contribution to technical specifications or operational concepts for the equipment are integral parts of FAIRway Danube.

Within the first 18 months, significant steps were made:

  • National Action Plans, which provide information on the fairway conditions and planned projects, were updated in October 2015 and May 2016. The most recent update provided the factual basis for targeted actions aligned at the meeting of Transport Ministers in Rotterdam on 20 June 2016.
  • FAIRway Danube has well advanced with the specifications of surveying and marking vessels as well as 39 gauging stations. The corresponding tenders worth around 4 Mil.€ were already launched, thus the pilot activities can start in 2017/2018. The first surveying vessels will deliver high-quality data as of summer 2017 already.
  • FAIRway Danube prepared the pre-feasibility study on the rehabilitation of the Gabčíkovo locks, which was one of the enablers of a 145 Mn.€ works project (out of which 122 Mil.€ from the European Union). The modernisation of the lock enables the permanent operation of both lock chambers thereby ensuring more efficient locking procedures for the shipping sector.
  • Following the international kick-off meeting in Brussels on 9 February 2016, national user fora were organised in Slovakia, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria in order to obtain feedback from private and public stakeholders.

Please save the date already for the next user fora:

  • 21 June 2017 in Bratislava
  • 17 May 2017 in Budapest
  • 30 May 2017 in Ruse
  • 13 June 2017 in Constanta

The next project year will focus on finalizing the specification of the vessels and gauging stations and start the pilot operation on selected sections of the Danube.  This way, FAIRway Danube will provide a valuable contribution to the realisation of the Fairway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan for the Danube and its navigable tributaries.

Key project facts

Further information is available here.