Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    7. Mr. Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden): When he plans to publish his White Paper on airports in the south-east of England. [138860]

    The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Alistair Darling): We expect to publish the air transport White Paper covering the whole of the UK next month.

    Mr. Lilley : I am grateful to the Minister for his reply. When he publishes the White Paper, will he ignore the blustering threats of legal action by the operators of Luton airport and accept that there is massive local opposition?I have got another 1,000 signatures to add to the many that he has already received?to over-expansion of the airport to the size of Gatwick? There are no direct rail links to the airport, and the overflying stacked above it means that it will be less safe. The airport is closed more frequently than any other airport serving London because of weather conditions, and, on the right hon. Gentleman‘s own calculations, development is the least cost-effective option of all those that he is considering.

    Mr. Darling: I am aware of the right hon. Gentleman‘s strong feelings about development at Luton because he has made them clear on previous occasions. My answer to him, as it will be to everyone else who catches your eye, Mr. Speaker, is that people just have to wait a short while longer before finding out our conclusions.