THE opening of Chek Lap Kok airport will be delayed if an agreement on financing the multi-billion dollar airport projects is not reached by the end of the year, Sir David said yesterday. ''It is a fact that we are fast running out of time in terms of being able to maintain the original target date. If we are to maintain our original target date, then it's clear that we do need an agreement by the end of the year,'' he said, adding that his comments were not a threat aimed at China. Sir David said the danger was that the projects would not only be delayed, but that they would become more expensive. ''It is very important that we try to reach an agreement with the Chinese side. The next key areas we need to deal with are obviously the passenger terminal itself. ''We need to get on with the building of that passenger terminal, we need to start putting in place the franchises for all the things that go with an airport - for baggage handling, for fuel and for airport maintenance - all the things need a considerable lead time,'' he said.