Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) boosted its passenger total by 4.5% to 73.6 million in its fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, according to its annual report. HKIA also increased flight movements by 3.2% to 423,390, and cargo volume was up by 7.6% to 5.1 million tonnes.

All three totals beat previous records, the airport said.

Nine new destinations from Hong Kong were added during the fiscal year, and 13 new carriers began service at the airport.

The strong growth comes as HKIA is embarked on major expansion programs. The airport’s main long-term project is the construction of a third runway. In the annual report, HKIA said the runway construction is on track to meet its target of being commissioned by the end of 2024 within a budget of HK$141.5 billion ($18 billion).

Reclamation work for the new runway is “progressing as planned.” The required diversion of the airport’s aviation fuel pipelines was “substantially completed” in the first quarter of 2018.

Advance work for the expansion of Terminal 2 is underway, with detailed design for this project largely finished. Construction of the north runway crossover taxiway is continuing, and the tunnels for a new automated people mover and high-speed baggage systems have begun.

HKIA is also working on shorter-term developments that will help cater to demand growth until the third-runway system is completed. This includes the expansion of Terminal 1, which began in the 2017/18 financial year. The expansion will add 48 check-in counters and two new baggage carousels. The interior of the terminal is being renovated.

Other projects already under construction include a 200-meter Sky Bridge between Terminal 1 and the north satellite concourse. When completed, this is expected to reduce travel time to gates in the satellite concourse.

HKIA is the Air Transport World 2018 Airport of the Year.

Adrian Schofield, avweekscho@gmail.com