PIANC Task Group 181 – ‘The State and Perspectives of Waterborne Transport Infrastructure Worldwide’ has been released/
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At the 33rd PIANC World Congress in San Francisco, on 31 May 2014, the Annual General Assembly passed a resolution to form a task group on the ‘State and Perspectives of Waterborne Transport Infrastructure Worldwide’ (Appendix A). Task Group 181 was charged with gathering relevant information on the global needs for new or existing waterborne transport infrastructure, including investment levels and operation & maintenance costs as compared to other transport modes, and assimilating this information into a database that organises and presents it in a meaningful way.
The Task Group was also charged with investigating emerging trends and new technologies affecting the development of waterborne transport infrastructure worldwide. Appendix B provides the October 2014 Terms of Reference (ToR) and the work plan for TG 181.
TG 181’s final product is intended to provide guidance on best practices for better design, financing and construction of waterborne transport infrastructure, which can lead to a gain in productivity in infrastructure delivery. The TG 181 scope is broad and cuts across many aspects of waterborne transport infrastructure development. As such, it does not align uniquely with any of the traditional PIANC Technical Commissions. Therefore, oversight and sponsorship of TG 181 was at the Executive Committee (ExCom) level. However, the TG conducted outreach activities with each of the Technical Commissions, including a review of their Working Group reports, to help inform its work.
TG 181 members were solicited from all PIANC member countries, with 29 initial volunteers identified. The ‘worldwide’ scale of the TG’s charter highlights the fact that the scope of the investigation goes beyond PIANC member countries, which are largely concentrated in Europe, Asia and the Americas. At the TG 181 kick-off meeting in February 2015, a work plan comprising four main thrusts was agreed:
- Collect data and information’
- Assess the data and information
- Investigate emerging trends and technologies relevant to the sector
- Communicate results to stakeholders