|Headquarters||Hong Kong International Airport|
|Annual budget||HKD 577.6 million (2016-17)|
|Parent department||Security Bureau|
|Government Flying Service|
Politics and government|
of Hong Kong
|Related topics Hong Kong portal|
The Government Flying Service (GFS) is a disciplined unit of the Government of Hong Kong.
The service has its head office in, and operates from, the southwestern end of Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok. Before the opening of the Chek Lap Kok airport in 1998, it operated from the old Kai Tak Airport (i.e. the former Hong Kong International Airport). GFS patrols a 400-nautical-mile (740 km) radius of Hong Kong's Maritime Search and Rescue Region, which covers most of the South China Sea basin, as well as the Hong Kong Flight Information Region.
The Government Flying Service was established on 1 April 1993, when Hong Kong was under British rule. It then took over all the non-military operations of the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force (RHKAAF), which was an auxiliary unit of the United Kingdom Royal Air Force. After Hong Kong was handed over to the People's Republic of China in 1997, the GFS remains as a government unit of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and is responsible for search and rescue (SAR), air ambulance, firefighting, and police operations.
In 2007, the former dispersal in the old Kai Tak Airport was re-opened as a sub-base, providing refuelling and other supporting services for GFS's helicopters. The helipad is located near the foot of Cheung Yip Street.
In August 2020, a GFS Bombardier Challenger 605 maritime patrol aircraft is believed to have assisted Chinese authorities in intercepting 12 Hong Kongers who were attempting to flee to Taiwan due to increasingly onerous conditions in Hong Kong and enhanced exit controls. The Hong Kong government denied that they had cooperated with Chinese authorities. On December 21, 2020, the United States Bureau of Industry and Security will amend the Export Administration Regulations by adding a new 'Military End User' (MEU) List, as well as the first tranche of 103 entities, which includes 58 Chinese and 45 Russian companies. Government Flying Service was added as one of 103 entities to the MEU List.
GFS is broken down to operational sections:
Helicopters can land on 5 highways in Hong Kong to attend to road related recovery operations. For long-range search and rescue operations, the GFS initially uses fixed wing aircraft which then guides helicopters to the location.
The fleet currently comprises:
|Eurocopter France||EC 155 B1||aeromedical services, inshore search and rescue, VIP and government personnel transfer (medium utility transport helicopter)||4
|2002-||A fifth one, B-HRX, crashed at Pak Kung Au during a mission in 2003.
All painted in grey (night black and sea grey )
To be replaced by Airbus Helicopters H175 beginning in 2018.
|Bombardier Aerospace Canada||Challenger 605||search and rescue/maritime surveillance aircraft||2
* B-LVA * B-LVB
|All painted in white and safety orange. Replaced the Jetstream 41|
|Diamond Aircraft Industries Austria||Twin Star DA42NG-VI||Twin engines fixed wing trainer||1
|2018||succeeded the role of the Moravan ZLIN Z242L|
|Airbus Helicopters France||H175||Search and Rescue, emergency medical services, observation, firefighting, and law enforcement helicopter.||7
|2018||Launch customer for the public services version with an order for 7 in 2015. All to be delivered by the end of 2018. Will replace AS332 L2 and EC155 in service.|
Paint scheme for Challenger 605 is white and safety orange, two grey (night black and sea grey) tones for the EC 155 and the H175s have an overall grey livery with a light grey stripe on the tile broom. Diamond DA42NG is mainly white livery with orange cheatline
Prior to 2002, the fleet colours consisted of:
The fleet has previously included:
|Beechcraft United States||Super King Air||maritime surveillance aircraft; VIP aircraft (converted turboprop airliner)||2||1993-1999||from RHKAAF; replaced by BAe Jetstream 41|
|Sikorsky Aircraft United States||S-70A Black Hawk||medium lift utility helicopters||3
|1993-2002||from RHKAAF; used for search and rescue and by the Hong Kong Police Force; replaced by Super Puma AS332 L2; S-70 sold back to the United States|
|Sikorsky Aircraft United States||S-76 Spirit||medium utility helicopter||6||1993-2002||from RHKAAF; used by the Government of Hong Kong and VIP service; replaced by EC 155 B1|
|Eurocopter France||AS 332L2 Super Puma||inshore/offshore search and rescue helicopter (medium lift utility helicopter); aerial fire fighting apparatus||3
|2002-2020||Only B-HRN is painted in white and safety orange, while B-HRM and B-HRL are pained in grey
Replaced by Airbus Helicopters H175.
|Slingsby Aviation United Kingdom||T-67M-200 Firefly||fixed wing trainer||4||1993-1996||from RHKAAF; replaced by ZLIN Z242L|
|Moravan Czech Republic||ZLIN Z242L||fixed wing trainer||1
|2009 - 2018||replaced by Diamond Twin Star DA42NG-VI|
|British Aerospace United Kingdom||Jetstream 41||search and rescue/maritime surveillance aircraft (converted turboprop regional airliner)||2
|1999- 2016||Replaced by Bombardier Challenger 605
B-HRS being preserved in Kai Tak Runway Park permanently
Standard equipment for GFS personnel is:
As the GFS is not a police or para-military unit, they are unarmed. Armed officers of the Hong Kong Police Force fly with the GFS on occasion.
GFS employs 238 personnel:
Most of the pilots in the GFS were localised prior to the handover in 1997, as former RAF and other British military personnel departed Hong Kong.
The GFS is led by a controller, who reports to the Secretary for Security. The current controller is Captain West WH WU.
Other senior officers of the GFS are:
Prior to the creation of the GFS, the ranks within the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force were the same as the RAF. The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the transition to local staff in the RHKAAF in preparation for the civil transfer to the GFS role.
Pilot II and Cadet Pilot ranks were created in the 1990s for local pilots with less flying experience.
List of past controllers of the GFS:
The current crest of the force was adopted in 1997, prior to which the Hong Kong Coat of Arms was used on GFS aircraft:
Government Flying Service 18 South Perimeter Road Hong Kong International Airport Lantau Hong Kong