Brussels, Tuesday, 9 February 2016 – Today, the FAIRway Danube initiative was kicked-off in Brussels. Between July 2015 and June 2020 - for 5 years, FAIRway Danube will significantly increase the knowledge on shallow sections of the Danube waterway so that the fairway routing will be optimized and rehabilitation measures drafted. FAIRway Danube will be carried out in a harmonized way in 6 countries: Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania under the umbrella of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) of the European Commission. The actions are co-financed by the Connecting Europe facility (CEF) programme. The Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit) and viadonau, the Austrian waterway administration are responsible for the coordination of the project.

The multi-beneficiary CEF project FAIRway Danube is the first implementation phase of the “Fairway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan for the Danube and its navigable tributaries”, which is part of the TEN-T Corridor Work Plan for the Rhine-Danube Corridor. The Master Plan prepares harmonised initiatives to tackle infrastructure bottlenecks along the TEN-T Rhine-Danube Core Network Corridor and was elaborated in close cooperation with all Danube riparian states.

In this perspective, the international initiative with the main objective to foster the coordinated rehabilitation of bottlenecks is supported by the European Commission within the CEF funding program. The focus of FAIRway Danube is to provide 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 waterway to the current riverbed conditions. In parallel, FAIRway Danube is aiming at preparing the harmonized rehabilitation of the Danube and its navigable tributaries. Pilot operations of new harmonised services for waterway users, the provision of feedback and the contribution to technical specifications or operational concepts are integral parts of FAIRway Danube. A key objective is also the involvement of stakeholders for approval and validation of results by means of pilots.

In short, FAIRway Danube is thriving to contribute to an increased safety, efficiency and environmental friendliness of inland navigation by setting the following steps:

  • Update national action plans regularly (twice a year, October and May)
  • Concerted purchase of advanced equipment for hydrological services (gauging stations, surveying and marking vessels)
  • Carry out pilot activities and evaluate results:

      o Collection of basic data for all critical sections of the Danube waterway

      o Analysis and evaluation of the data collected as basis for coherent monitoring
         of the navigation status

      o Harmonised water level forecasts

      o Optimized routing of the fairway based on current depth measurements

  • Develop innovative approaches in the area of aerial monitoring, modern Aids to Navigation, and any other supporting tools for fairway rehabilitation

Partners and beneficiaries:
Austria: Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology and via donau-Österreichische Wasserstraßen-Gesellschaft mbH (viadonau)
Slovakia: Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of the Slovak Republic and Waterborne Transport Development Agency (ARVD)
Hungary: Ministry of National Development (NFM), Nemzeti Infrastruktura Fejleszto Zrt. (NIF) and General Directorate of Water Management (OVF)
Croatia: Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure and Agency for Inland Waterways (AVP)
Bulgaria: Executive Agency "Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube River" (EAEMDR)
Romania: River Administration of the Lower Danube Galati (AFDJ); Administration of the Navigable Canals (ACN)

Key facts:
Duration: 07/2015 - 06/2020
Budget: EUR 23.4 Mn
EU-Financing (CEF): EUR 19.6 Mn

Andreas Bäck (Project Coordinator)
via donau – Österreichische Wasserstraßen-
Gesellschaft mbH Donau-City-Straße 1, A-1220 Vienna
Tel: +43 (0) 50 4321-1609
Email: andreas.baeck[at]     

Claudiu Dutu (Project Dissemination)
AFDJ - River Administration of the Lower Danube
Galati, 32 Portului Street, Romania
Tel: +40 (36) 460016
Email: claudiu.dutu[at]