Good navigation status

Defining good navigation status for better implementation

One of the objectives of the Trans‐European Transport Network (TEN‐T) is to ensure that European waterways are well integrated in the European transport system, promoting as much as possible inland navigation as a sustainable transport mode.
The TEN‐T Guidelines stipulate that, by 2030, navigable waterways of European interest have to achieve “good navigation status (GNS)”. This means that these waterways have to help in reaching the full potential of inland navigation in Europe. However, the TEN‐T Guidelines of 2013 do not provide a definition for “good navigation status”.

Commission study

The current TEN-T minimum requirements for inland waterways are 2.5m draught and 5,25m height under bridges year round. The hydro-morphological characteristics of rivers do not always enable to meet these requirements year round. River commissions and waterway authorities therefore work with reference water levels.

The revision of TEN-T: non-deterioration and enhancement

Future TEN-T policy shall provide an overarching framework for the development of sustainable and climate change resilient waterway infrastructure. Good navigation status shall cover minimum requirements for the entire core network and parameters exceeding those requirements, which can be set at corridor level but should not hamper cross-corridor navigation. The minimum requirements should include a non-deterioration principle and a principle on protection, enhancement and restoration of inland waterways.

Quality, performance and resilience for more reliability

The aim is to improve capacity where necessary, but above all quality, performance and resilience in a life cycle approach to guarantee reliability and predictability of the network. Digital support tools are increasingly important in this respect. Waterway authorities advocate that measures helping to achieve good navigation status shall be eligible for EU funding and financing.