Maintenance of waterways
The maintenance of waterways covers the servicing of maritime aids to navigation, as well as their repair, rehabilitation and construction. The waterway maintenance services also include dredging activities and the fairway planning and surveys conducted to support the maintenance activities.
The Finnish Transport Agency has approximately 25,000 aids to navigation installed along the 16,000 kilometres of waterways under its management within Finland’s sea areas and lakes. The aids to navigation may be of the fixed or floating kind.
Ice breakup often causes floating aids to navigation to become dislocated
Fairway maintenance involves checking and repairing all buoys and signs within one month of ice breakup within a specified area. Signs especially have a tendency to move, break or disappear. During winter time, floating aids to navigation may be submerged under the moving ice mass.
Fairway users must always carry an up-to-date nautical chart with them and confirm their location on the basis of observations of fixed points of reference.
Use and maintenance of canals
The maintenance services of the Finnish Transport Agency cover 39 lock canals and two canal locks acting as museums. Some of the lock canals are in self-service use, some are managed remotely, and some locks are operated by an on-site lock-keeper. The canal lock opening hours and instructions on how to operate the locks are available here.