The 6th FAIRway Danube Advisory Committee was conducted together with stakeholders from the inland navigation sector and the European institutions on 3. December 2020 – for the first time in a digital format. Once again, the outcomes of FAIRway Danube and its role in the Rhine-Danube Corridor have been praised. Moreover, the over-arching achievements of Karla Peijs, the Rhine-Danube Coordinator, were jointly celebrated, as she will finish her mandate by end of December 2020.
The Advisory Committee meetings take place annually and provide the ideal platform for project partners to report about progresses and achievements, while stakeholders and industry representatives give feedback on all major outputs of FAIRway Danube.
On a special occasion, the first part of the meeting was organised in order to celebrate the significant political achievements of Karla Peijs. As Rhine-Danube Coordinator, she always secured extremely important results for the corridor. Karla Peijs will finish her mandate by end December 2020. Inés Ayala-Sender will start as newly appointed Rhine-Danube Coordinator as of 01.01.2021.
Further on, the meeting focused on the progresses of FAIRway Danube undertaken by the relevant waterway authority in 6 countries along the Danube (Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria).
Until December 2020, FAIRway Danube realised the following outcomes:
The pilot operations of the 5 new surveying vessels were continued in Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria. Also, the 4 newly acquired and 3 upgraded marking vessels in Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria continued their pilot operation throughout the year 2020, despite the difficult framework conditions in connection with the pandemic. The pilot operations are the key to sustainable results of the project, which foster the achievement of a good navigation status along the Danube and its navigable tributaries.
In addition, the pending contracts for the Romanian gauging stations were installed until mid-2020. The water level gauges improve the availability of data on critical locations.
The Waterway Management Systems (WAMS), implemented in all partner countries, and the transnational waterway management system (WAMOS) further on collect all basic data and enable further analyses, therefore supporting the digitalisation of waterway infrastructure. The systems provide actual and reliable fairway data for waterway administrations, including the availability analysis of the fairway, monitoring of real-time and historical water levels, and harmonised visualisation of shallow sections. Water level forecast data will be elaborated as well. All data shall be published through the FIS Portal (https://danubeportal.com/) as single point of information for users and also enable dynamic marking operations, especially in the lower Danube. This shall enable exploitation of the full potential of navigation conditions. The pilot operation will enable to gain experience for efficient standard operation.
Already in 2018, FAIRway Danube prepared the pre-feasibility study on the rehabilitation of the Gabčíkovo locks, which was an important input for a works project of € 145 Mn. worth. The current lock modernisation enables the permanent operation of both lock chambers, thus ensuring more efficient locking procedures for the shipping sector.
From a stakeholder view, the quality and reliability of the fairway is key for Danube transport. Improvements of the fairway depth and navigation conditions can be observed, Also, reporting, forecast and marking improved. The Danube FIS Portal is seen as an excellent tool to inform the users as it is a single source of information.
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