Gatwick is doubling its fleet of snow clearing equipment from 47 to 95 vehicles at a cost of £8 million in the face of severe winter weather.

The move comes as UK airports suffered from the second cold snap in less than a month.

London’s second largest airport said today that operations were returning to normal after a weekend of flight disruption due to blizzard weather conditions.

The airport’s runway was open this morning but knock-on delays and cancellations are likely throughout the day due to the impact of snow across Northern Europe.

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “This investment will give us the largest snow fleet of any UK airport, demonstrating our commitment to keeping Gatwick operating in the toughest of weather conditions.

“We took delivery of the first two additional snow ploughs early on Saturday morning – just before the latest snowfall – and put them straight to work to get our airlines and passengers moving again.

“When the remaining equipment arrives – some next week and the rest in early 2011 – Gatwick will have the same snow clearance capability as Oslo airport.”

The airport will have state-of-the-art snow ploughs, brushes, cutters, blowers and de-icing vehicles as well as tractors and other small plant equipment.