Deadline for airport agreement

CHINA'S backing for Hong Kong's new airport must be secured by Christmas if it is to be completed on schedule by mid-1997, legislator Samuel Wong Ping-wai said yesterday.

If no agreement on financing for the airport and its associated rail link was struck by December, it would be impossible to go ahead with the private installations in the new airport terminal costing $15.4 billion - among them fuel, aircraft maintenance,aircraft catering and air cargo, he said.

He hoped British and Chinese foreign ministers, Douglas Hurd and Qian Qichen, would give some indication on the airport when they meet on October 1.