ANOTHER $2.43 billion is to be sought from the Legislative Council for the new airport project this month even though there is still no sign of China and Britain signing two vital financialsupport agreements. The Financial Secretary, Sir Hamish Macleod, said yesterday the Government also intended to approach the Legco Finance Committee for a further $5.2 billion early this year for the seven government projects under the airport core programme. The amount represents the balance of equity funding for the Chek Lap Kok airport plan, he said. Britain and China reached a long-awaited deal on the financial arrangements for the multi-billion-dollar airport plan in early November. The Government promised to inject no less than $60.3 billion into the new airport. The total borrowings to be incurred by the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) and the Provisional Airport Authority (PAA) were capped at $23 billion. But officials and the two corporations have repeatedly said separate financial support agreements should be signed as soon as possible so they could seek loans from the private sector. Sir Hamish said the Government had obtained 90 per cent of the funding required for the seven government projects. The Financial Secretary hoped an early agreement on the financial support agreements for the PAA and the MTRC could be reached between British and Chinese experts. An early agreement on the airport bill and the airport franchises would also be needed, he said. 'Our experts have been discussing these matters with their Chinese counterparts in a friendly and positive manner and we hope an agreement will be reached as soon as possible so that the PAA and MTRC can launch their borrowing programmes to support their works.' Sir Hamish pointed out that more major contracts would be awarded in the next few months for the construction of the passenger terminal building and for the terminal's building services. Other major contracts, including those for airfield works, would be let as the year progressed. A total of 102 major contracts worth more than $65 billion had been awarded so far for the 10 projects. Sir Hamish said he was satisfied with the developments in funding arrangements and construction work relating to the new airport in the past year. He gave an assurance that the Government would keep up its efforts in taking the projects forward with a stringent and fair approach to letting contracts in order to benefit from highly competitive bids internationally. The Airport Consultative Committee and the Legislative Council also had an important role to play in monitoring costs and progress of the programme, he said. adding they would be consulted regularly on the progress of the plan. 'The public can rest assured that the funds committed on the [projects] will prove to be a sound investment underpinning Hong Kong's economic development in the next century.' Sir Hamish inspected progress of construction work last Friday. More than 80 per cent of the airport platform and the Lantau fixed crossing has been completed.