Government Flying Service

Government Flying Service
Agency overview
Formed 1993
Preceding agency
Jurisdiction Hong Kong
Headquarters Hong Kong International Airport
Employees 225
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • MCP Chan, Controller
For the Slovak state carrier, see Slovak Government Flying Service.

The Government Flying Service (GFS) is a disciplined unit of the Government of Hong Kong. It 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 (HKSAR), and is responsible for search and rescue (SAR), air ambulance, firefighting and police operations.

The service 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, as well as the Hong Kong Flight Information Region (FIR), which covers most of the South China Sea basin.

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.

Government Flying Service
Traditional Chinese 政府飛行服務隊
Simplified Chinese 政府飞行服务队


A GFS Super Puma landing on the deck of the USS Mobile Bay, April 2006

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.[1]


Hong Kong Government Flying Service Eurocopter AS-332L2 Super Puma MkII
Hong Kong Government Flying Service Eurocopter AS-332L2 putting out a hill fire with a belly mounted water tank

The fleet currently comprises:

Eurocopter  France AS 332L2 Super Puma inshore/offshore search and rescue helicopter (medium lift utility helicopter); aerial fire fighting apparatus 3
2002– replaced the Sikorsky S-70A Black Hawk
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.
Moravan  Czech Republic ZLIN Z242L fixed wing trainer 1
2009 succeeded the role of the Slingsby Aviation T-67M-200 Firefly
Bombardier Aerospace  Canada Bombardier Challenger 605 search and rescue/maritime surveillance aircraft 2
* B-LVB (ex-C-GNVQ) * B-LVA


Replaced the

Jetstream 41

Paint scheme for Jetstream and Super Puma is white and Safety orange, two grey (night black and sea grey) tones for the EC 155 and some of the Super Puma to support police operations (tactical troops transport).

In 2015, Government Flying Service placed orders for 7 Airbus Helicopters H175 aircraft, for which it will be the launch customer. Delivery is expected in 2017 and 2018.[2]

Retired fleet

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 (B-HZJ, B-HZI, and B-HZK) 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
Slingsby Aviation  United Kingdom T-67M-200 Firefly fixed wing trainer 4 1993–1996 from RHKAAF; replaced by ZLIN Z242L
British Aerospace  United Kingdom Jetstream 41 search and rescue/maritime surveillance aircraft (converted turboprop regional airliner) 2
1999- 2016 Replaced by Bombardier Challenger 605

Aircraft on Order

The following aircraft are on HKGFS's Orderbooks

Builder Model Type Number Ordered Delivery Dates Details
Airbus Helicopters


/  France

H175 aeromedical services, inshore/Offshore search and rescue,

VIP and government personnel

transfer (medium utility transport helicopter)

7 2017-2018 First three will be delivered by the end of 2017 and the other four a year later.


(Most likely to replace the EC 155 B1)

Prior to 2002, the fleet colours consisted of:

Equipment and Gear

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 Michael CP Chan.

Other senior officers of the GFS are:


Operations uniforms:

Dress uniforms:[7]


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. For details and insignia of the ranking, see

Ranking of personnel of the GFS are civilian aviation roles and are as follows:

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:

GFS in the media


See also


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