FAIRway Danube actively supports waterway management authorities in 6 countries along the Danube in improving waterway management activities on their particular section. On 28 November 2017 the project partners reported on the progress made under the lead of the Austrian Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology and viadonau. Maja Bakran Marcich, Deputy Director-General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission, as well as representations of the logistics industry were pleased with the intermediate results of FAIRway Danube.
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.
Until December 2017, significant progress was made:
- National Action Plans, which provide information on the fairway conditions and planned measures, were updated in October 2015, May and October 2016 as well as in May 2017. Those reports also provided the factual basis for the meeting of Transport Ministers in Rotterdam on 20 June 2016.
- The first surveying vessel was baptised on 25 October 2017 in Vukovar (Croatia). The vessel provides more accurate data for the fairway users and for activities of the waterway authorities. Additional vessels for Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia will be delivered later this year. Four marking vessels are currently under construction and will be delivered in the 2nd half of 2018. In their operation, they will support the signalling of the fairway. Nine gauging stations are currently being set up in Croatia. For nearly 30 additional gauging stations, all preparations for the public procurement have been made so that their operation can start later in 2018.
- On basis of the pre-feasibility study on the rehabilitation of the Gabčíkovo locks (Slovakia), which was prepared within FAIRway Danube, a Connecting Europe Facility project worth 145 Mil.€ was approved by the European Commission and the tenders for works were launched in May 2017.
- Following three Steering and Advisory Committee meetings in Brussels, a series of national user fora was organised in order to obtain feedback from relevant private and public stakeholders.
In 2018, the project will not only focus on finalizing the construction of the vessels and installation of the gauging stations, but also on providing the current and harmonized information about shallow sections. 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.
Andreas Bäck (Project Coordinator) via donau – Österreichische Wasserstraßen-Gesellschaft mbH Donau-City-Straße 1, A-1220 Vienna Tel: +43 (0) 50 4321-1609
Claudiu Dutu (Project Dissemination) AFDJ – River Administration of the Lower Danube Galati Galati, 32 Portului Street, Romania Tel: +40 (36) 460016