1 July 2021
Enak Ferlemann, Parliamentary State Secretary for the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure: “The Fehmarnbelt Project is the central element of the new European north-south axis, particularly by rail. It is important to us, during the construction works, to impair marine traffic as little as possible. The Danish-German Vessel Traffic Service Centre has a leading role in this.”
German and Danish navigators jointly operate the new VTS Centre. They are specially trained and have all the necessary technology at their disposal. The navigators can thus monitor the movement of every vessel around the clock and keep direct radio contact to any vessel on its journey through the Fehmarnbelt.
The safety system also consists of two guard ships in the Fehmarnbelt, which throughout the construction phase will act as the extended arm of the authorities and can move out at short notice if a vessel gets too close to the construction activities.
The VTS Fehmarnbelt works within the framework of the requirements of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
“For us, as owners, navigational safety has top priority during construction works. Thus, we are glad that the joint Vessel Traffic Service Centre has been established and operated in close cooperation with the German and Danish authorities. This system will contribute to guiding every vessel safely through the Fehmarnbelt during construction works,” says Claus F. Baunkjær, CEO at Femern A/S.
Hans-Heinrich Witte, President of the Directorate-General of Waterways and Navigation (GDWS): “In the new Vessel Traffic Service Centre Fehmarnbelt, we bring our nautical know-how together with the Danish experts. Our common objective is the safety in the Fehmarnbelt throughout the construction phase. This type of cross-border cooperation is completely new and is beneficial for both shipping and the working environment in the Fehmarnbelt.”
The Danish Maritime Authority is equally content with the cooperation between the maritime authorities of the two countries:
"The Danish and German authorities have been working closely together in a constructive and fruitful cooperation on the VTS project in the Fehmarnbelt. It can be a challenge to merge two sets of rules into a coordinated common regulation, but this has worked out in an exemplary way. The VTS Fehmarnbelt is an important step towards ensuring safety for shipping in the Belt during the construction of the tunnel between Germany and Denmark," says Andreas Nordseth, Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority.