Mr Alistair Darling (Secretary of State, Department for Transport; Edinburgh Central, Labour)
I thought that the hon. Gentleman was referring to Welshpool, and I was wondering what hub-and-spoke operation he proposes to build there. I am quite clear that air transport is an integral part of our transport system. Last year, half the population flew at least once. Low-cost airlines have grown from about 7 million to 34 million passengers. Of course, we have to plan ahead for the next 20 or 30 years. The hon. Gentleman is right at least to this extent: we have to plan in a way that is consistent with our environmental obligations. The point that I was making is that whatever policy a party has, it is a good idea if it is the same nationally as it is locally. One cannot have a national policy against air travel and a local policy of building an airport wherever possible.