The Interreg Baltic Sea Region Program’s EMMA project (2016-2019) clearly showed that central European RIS applications will not be the solution for Finnish IWT. Finnish systems used are VTS and smart fairway solutions. Another system is not feasible to install. However, EMMA proved that functional extensions could support the increase of safety in navigation and simplify transport management solutions. The overall aim in this GoA is to support the further harmonization of River Information and Vessel Traffic Services (RIS/VTS) in the BSR, based on the recommendation given in the EMMA policy paper (chapter 4.3 "Digitalization"). Thus, smart fairway technology will be developed and implemented. The focus is put on aids to navigation by digitalized buoys being part of a smart fairway solution.

The benefit of smart buoys has already been analyzed in EMMA, but at the stage of EMMA project 2016-2019 the implementation was not possible. Now, considering describes RIS/VTS developments, a further developed buoy system is beneficial and meaningful for IWT. The buoys will deliver adjustable light intensity in signal lights. In bad weather conditions light intensity can be set to higher level by pilots on board or ship captains (via an existing app from service provider) to better support navigational aids. This brings more safety to shipping. When weather is clear, signal intensity can be lowered again, resulting in longer battery operational lifetime. Further, this technology results in reduced maintenance costs for waterway authorities, which can be better planned and consider specific conditions such as water levels, weather conditions etc. The implementation will take place in class 2 fairway number 6795 in Haukivesi-Joensuu deep-water fairway section which is the fairway used for commercial shipping purposes and is connecting North Karelia to other inland waterway sections in Saimaa area and to Saimaa Canal which is the only link to the Baltic Sea area and Motorways of the Seas (MoS). Pilot action is supported by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency FTIA which is the responsible authority for maintaining and construction of public waterways in Finland.

This implementation report can be understood as implementation guidance towards any waterway management authority in the BSR showcasing a cost-benefit assessment and sourcing.