AIR cargo passing through Kai Tak airport in the first six months of the year totalled a record 555,879 tonnes, up 15.4 per cent over the same period last year, according to Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (HACTL). This ranks Hong Kong as the world's second-busiest airport for international cargo and puts it in a strong position to narrow the gap with Japan's Narita airport in the second half. Last year, HACTL handled 481,512 tonnes in the first half, finishing the year with a total throughput of 1.16 million tonnes, trailing Narita's 1.44 million. HACTL's acting managing director K K Yeung said over the past three years, the first six months have accounted for about 45 per cent of the year's total throughput. Based on that estimate, he said, throughput this year could top 1.23 million tonnes. The latest six-month figures show export cargo rising by 10.7 per cent to 249,481 tonnes.