Hong Kong new airport costs are cut

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HONG KONG (AFP) - The layout for Hong Kong's multi-billion dollar new airport has been changed to cut costs, as London and Beijing remain at loggerheads over funding for the project, the Provisional Airport Authority said.

The changes could cut about HKdollars 150m (pounds 10.3m) from the total cost, estimated at dollars 21bn (pounds 11.1bn), the PAA's chief executive officer, Richard Allen, said.

The Hong Kong government has reacted favourably to the changes, which involve building the passenger terminal on existing land, instead of reclaimed land where the underlying ground conditions would have required expensive piling.

Mr Allen said the new layout would also mean that road and rail links could be shortened with significant cost savings.

Recent talks between London and Beijing aimed at resolving the dispute over the project's funding ended in an impasse.

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