A SENIOR official of the Chinese State Council's Hongkong and Macau Affairs Office said he hoped that July 1, 1997, would be celebrated by the first flight out of Chek Lap Kok. Despite the protracted delay in talks to kick-start major projects for the airport, Mr Chen Zuo'er stressed that China still wanted it finished by the change-over date. Maintaining that the Airport Committee should meet as soon as possible on the project, Mr Chen, however, stressed that airport discussions had not been paralysed, despite the deadlock of the past six months. China was hoping the British side could put forward a financial package which was in accordance with the Memorandum Of Understanding on the new airport projects, he said. Asked if the airport railway could be delayed, he said the British side should abide by the memorandum and could not leave out any projects.