THE virtual monopoly by Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (HACTL) on cargo handling at Chek Lap Kok airport is under threat, according to the Provisional Airport Authority (PAA). PAA chief executive Henry Townsend said other companies could be brought in once the airport opens in 1998. He said market surveys among freight forwarding companies 'do not support HACTL to the degree' that is supposed. About 2.6 million tonnes of the airport's cargo will be handled by HACTL, with the remaining 400,000 tonnes to be contracted to Asia Air Freight Terminal. 'The real test will come when the airport opens and end users see what the prices are. The authority reserves the right to bring in extra companies,' he said. Mr Townsend was speaking at an airport conference jointly organised by the PAA and the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce. He said the PAA had cash reserves until the middle of next year, but needed China to give the green light to the Financial Support Agreement as soon as possible to guarantee further work. A draft business plan which included revised air traffic growth and revenue forecasts was still being considered by the Government.