Hefty claims are a natural part of large-scale construction contracts, a senior official said.
In a written reply to Eric Li Ka-cheung, acting Secretary for Works Lee Shing-see said 20,923 claims against 152 airport contracts had been received.
According to the Quarterly Report on the Airport Core Programme Projects submitted to the Finance Committee, the Airport Authority and the Mass Transit Railway Corporation had resolved 6,047 claims at a cost of $2.87 billion against an original claim amount of $10.8 billion by the end of December, leaving 14,876 claims unresolved.
The figure does not include the Western Harbour Crossing project.
'Given the scale, complexity, multiple contractual interfaces and tight programme of [airport core projects], the number and amount of claims submitted are not unusual,' said Mr Lee.
Delays in the possession of site, variations in design and limitations on certified construction methods contributed to legitimate claims.