§ Mr. Pickles
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister on how many occasions aircraft have been chartered for(a) himself and (b) other Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Ministers; when each charter took place; what the cost was; and what aircraft was used in each case. 
§ Yvette Cooper
A helicopter was chartered for my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister to view the Thames Gateway on 16 January 2003 at a cost of £4,658.63. He was accompanied by Sir Sandy Brace Lockhart, leader of Kent county council.
A helicopter was also chartered for my right hon. Friend, Lord Rooker to view the Thames Gateway on 23 September 2002. He was accompanied by David Watts, Director of Technical Services at Southend on Sea borough council. On this occasion, Southend-on-Sea borough council met the cost.
Use of a helicopter was considered to be the only viable way of viewing the complete Thames Gateway in order to get an idea of the scale of the potential development.