The Government Flying
Service (GFS) is a department of the Government
of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region with an establishment of 332 civil service posts responsible for flight operations, maintenance
The GFS is located at the south-western corner
of the Hong Kong International Airport.
History of the GFS: The GFS began operating
on 1st April 1993 immediately after the disbandment of its
predecessor, the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force. It is
one of the disciplined services of the Government of the Hong
Kong Special Administrative Region.
Structure: The department is headed by the Controller
who reports directly to the Secretary for Security. The Controller
is supported by the following divisions:
- Operations Division
- Training and Standards Division
- Engineering Division
- Corporate Safety Division
- Administration Division
The Operations Division is the core part of the department. It provides emergency services mainly for search and rescue, air ambulance and firefighting. It also provides support to Government departments and law enforcement agencies' operations.
The Training and Standards Division is responsible
for setting professional standards and overseeing the training
and development of all aircrews.
The Engineering Division which is an approved HKAR 145 maintenance organization and HKAR 21 design organization, well supports the flying and operational activities. It provides virtually all the aircraft and equipment maintenance services from within its well-equipped and modern hangar and workshops.
The Corporate Safety Division is responsible for steering and managing all safety related initiatives and cross-section safety management matters within the department.
The Administration Division provides administrative
support services to the whole department. The services it
provides include human resource management, financial management,
supplies and general administration.
Area of Responsibility: One of the major
responsibilities of the GFS lies with search and rescue operations.
Generally, the area of responsibilities covers up to 700 nautical
miles (1300 Kilometers) to include the Hong Kong Flight Information
Region (FIR) and the Hong Kong Maritime Rescue Coordination
Centre area of responsibility. Besides serving Hong Kong,
the department also assists in missions originated from the
Civil Aviation Department (CAD) and the Maritime Rescue and
Coordination Centre (MRCC).
The Fleet and Roles: The fleet of twelve aircraft comprises two Bombardier Challenger 605 (CL605) fixed-wing aircraft, one Diamond DA42 twin engine fixed-wing aircraft, seven AIRBUS EC 175 B (EC175) helicopters and two Eurocopter EC155 B1 (EC155) helicopters.
Challenger 605 fixed wing
aircraft are used as the initial search aircraft for long
range search and rescue operations to guide helicopters directly
to the scene, thus extending the helicopter effective range
and/or time on scene by eliminating their need to search.
By virtue of the CL605's
sophisticated equipment CL605 is able to fly at high
altitude and long distances, they are the ideal aircraft
to perform regular patrols for detecting drug trafficking,
illegal immigrants, smuggling and environmental pollution.
The CL605's are also modified to accommodate
a modern high quality aerial survey camera to provide
photographs for the production of maps, survey of land
reclamation and associated tasks.
In the coming future, CL605 is modified to deploy a dropsonde at high altitude to accurately measure and thereafter forecast the track and also the tropical storm conditions.
The Diamond DA42, a light twin-engine aircraft made of carbon composite material, is equipped with advance electronic flight instrumentation cockpit, flight management system and automatic flight control system. These enable the aircraft to operate outside Hong Kong and be used in route training to airports along the coastline of Southern China such as Macau and Zhuhai.
Meanwhile, the aircraft is used by less experienced fixed-wing pilots to accumulate quality flying experience safely and expeditiously, which will assist them to become qualified for the issue of an Airline Transport Pilot’s License more quickly than is currently the case.
The seven EC175 helicopters are mainly used for search and rescue, air ambulance, fire fighting, tactical law enforcement agencies’ (LEAs) support, external loads and internal cargo, airborne monitoring in the event of a nuclear accident, the carriage of VIPs and government passengers.
The AIRBUS EC175 B helicopters are primarily used for our long range and inshore, day and night search and rescue mission. Their fully integrated digital cockpit displays, automatic navigation and approach to hover system, combined with extra fuel load capacity, will enable the helicopters to perform extended range search and rescue missions up to 200nm with 1 hour on scene time. The range can be further extended when refuelling from an oilrig is available in the direction of the emergency. There are also advanced equipment onboard which further enhanced the safety and effectiveness of search at night. In addition, the spacious cabin of the EC175 can carry up to 2 stretchers and provides a comfortable platform for casualty transfer, whilst its onboard medical equipment would allow for the immediate treatment of patient or casualty.
The EC175 is also capable of providing aeromedical services in response to emergency callouts from clinics throughout the territory or directly to the scene of accidents.
The EC175 can be fitted with a hook system to carry an external fire bucket to perform aerial water-bombing to combat country park fires and its heavy lift capability enables the deployment of ground personnel to assist with fire fighting operations. In the internal security role, GFS serves an indispensable role by providing aerial support to local LEAs. The EC 175, depending on operational needs, can be reconfigured swiftly to facilitate different missions.
The EC175 helicopters can also provide 'Support Flying' service for all government departments in respect of VIP flights for the introduction to Hong Kong, JP movement to remote locations, photography of construction projects, transportation of personnel and equipment in support of numerous government services located on hilltops and outlying islands.
The EC155 B1 helicopters are used as a back-up for the EC 175. The EC155 are capable of providing aeromedical services and support flying service for all government departments.
On average, the fixed-wing and helicopter fleet flies approximately 1500 hours and 5500 hours per year respectively.
Operational Conformity and Standards:
The Engineering Division was awarded the ISO 9002 Certificate
in April 1994. In February 1998, the Flying Sections of the
GFS were awarded the ISO 9002 Certificate for quality flying
services. It is the first time that the operational element
of a flying organization anywhere in the world has been awarded
this accreditation. The awards recognize the commitment of
the GFS in maintaining a customer focus for all of its services
to the people of Hong Kong in addition to meeting the stringent
operational and maintenance requirements set by the Civil
Aviation Department and the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency.
The GFS successfully converted the ISO 9002 certification
to the ISO 9001:2000 version in 2003.
All the flying and engineering activities are monitored by
both internal and external quality audit organizations. Regular
inspections are carried out by internal and external auditors.
The Future: Our goal is
to provide a world-class emergency air services to the local
community and those who earn their livings in the South China