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The recent arctic conditions across the United States have shone a spotlight on how airports deal with snow and keep flights coming in and out safely. Countries more accustomed to severe winter weather will inevitably be set up to deal with such conditions, but what can the UK learn from them about managing our increasingly unpredictable weather?

At Oslo airport in Norway, they have brought in the big guns. Located perilously close to the Arctic Circle, Norway is under thick snow for more than half of the year, between October and April, with the additional factors of dense fog and ice to contend with. Keeping a busy airport open in these conditions is a real battle of human ingenuity against Mother Nature, and it is a battle that the staff at Oslo Airport is winning.

The main weapon in their weather defeating arsenal is a mighty TV 2000 snow blower. Weighing an almost unbelievable 40 tonnes, and priced at well over a million pounds, this titan is able to free up an entire runway in just a quarter of an hour. The blower is multi-faceted – it is able to simultaneously push snow put of the way with is integrated plough, sweep the runway clear and blow the excess snow safely out of the way. Following in its wake are a number of smaller vehicles that ensure the runway is snow and ice-free and completely safe. At the time of writing, only four if these snow blowers currently exist, and Oslo is in proud possession of two of them.

The key to Oslo's success largely lies in approach that winter air travel needs to be handled as efficiently as that in the summer. With its methodical approach to snow containment and clearing, Oslo has become something of a poster boy for other airports struggling to stay open during inclement weather. Having great forward planning and contingency resources is a must. The powers-that-be at Oslo Airport also have some other tricks up their sleeve. As well as the TV 2000, the airport has in place a stringent de-icing procedure for both aircraft and runways. During the winter months, the airport hires in an additional ninety staff that work day and night in shifts to manually assist with the snow clearing process. As soon as the first snow starts to fall, this well-oiled machine effortlessly starts, meaning that snow is unable to build up to unmanageable proportions.

If only other European airports could follow in Oslo Airport's footsteps. Since opening in 1998, the airport has been shit precisely twice because of heavy snow. Compare that to the chaos that often descends on out UK airports when just a fraction of snow falls, and it is clear that we and indeed other European destinations such as Frankfurt and Paris have an awful lot to learn.

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