A permanent cross-boundary pier will be built at Chek Lap Kok airport in 2007 to facilitate direct access to the world for travellers from the Pearl River Delta.
The pier had been due to open at the end of next year but this was postponed to allow for the extension of services to more passengers.
A temporary ferry terminal, SkyPier, where travellers can bypass immigration and customs formalities, only serves transit passengers commuting between Hong Kong and four ports - Macau, Shekou and Fuyong in Shenzhen and Humen in Dongguan.
By the end of this year, ferry services will extend to Zhongshan and Lianhuashan in Guangzhou and two more berths will be added to the existing three to cater for the extra traffic.
Airport Authority figures show that more than 770,000 passengers, or a daily average of 3,000, have used the ferry services since SkyPier was opened on September 28 last year.
It is believed the addition of the two destination ports will raise the number of passengers using the pier by 5 per cent to 10 per cent.
Airport Authority chief executive David Pang said he was confident that the number of passengers using the ferry service would reach more than one million next year.
'We are very satisfied with the performance of the terminal over the past year. We hope we will do better next year,' he said.
'The popularity of the ferry transfer service confirms the demand for quick, hassle-free services between the PRD and the airport.'
The permanent ferry terminal, at which six berths are planned, will form a significant part of Chek Lap Kok airport's 57-hectre SkyCity development, which includes the Asia World-Expo convention centre, an office and retail complex and a hotel.