The First Landing on the Third Runway of the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA)
Operation familiarisation for flights on the Third Runway, designated as the new North Runway of the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), started on 8th July 2022. At 08:24am, Hong Kong Government Flying Service fixed-wing aircraft Challenger 605 (B-LVA) was the first flight to land on the new Runway.
The newly built runway is located at the North of the original two-runway, with 3800-metre in length and built with its supporting taxiway systems. GFS also took part in the final preparation for the opening of the Third Runway and associated taxiways. Fixed wing aircraft and helicopters were deployed to assist Civil Aviation Department in conducting system tests and inspections.
Government Flying Service received a rescue request from Hong Kong Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre on 2nd July 2022 07:25 am. A marine maintenance vessel located approximately about 300km southwest of Hong Kong, suffered substantial damage and had broken up with about 30 seamen onboard. All seamen have abandoned the ship and were waiting for to be rescued.
The distressed vessel was located very close to the centre of Typhoon Chaba, in which the harsh and severe weather conditions made the rescue operation much more difficult. The on-scene wind speed reached 144km/h, visibility was down to 500m in heavy rain, sea-state was nearly 10m high. In addition to the extreme weather condition, there were a number of windfarms located in the vicinity which increased the difficulty and danger of our operation.
Challenger 605 fixed-wing aircraft arrived on scene first and took up the on scene command role to coordinate incoming rescue helicopters. Multiple H175 helicopters were deployed and arrived subsequently to conduct the rescue. 3 seamen were picked up successfully by the helicopter and sent back to GFS headquarters for further hospital treatment.
In the following days, GFS continued to deploy CL605 fixed wing aircraft to search for survivors. GFS also coordinated with various rescue efforts from the Mainland for an extensive search area in the Southern sea. In total, GFS has deployed 14 sorties of CL605 fixed wing aircraft, 6 sorties of H175 helicopters, 40 pilots and 28 aircrewman officers. GFS has logged more than 90 flying hours.
The engineering vessel was broken into two parts.
Winching recovery of one of the crew memeber
The engineering vessel was damaged and sank
25th Anniversary of Establishment of the HKSAR Grand Flypast
On July 1, the Government Flying Service conducted two formation flypast over the Victoria Harbour to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Establishment of the HKSAR.
Comparing to last year, this year we had 4 helicopters and the Challenger 605 fixed-wing aircraft took part in the formation flying. The arrow formation flypast performed symbolized a positive and prosperous future of Hong Kong.
Mountaineering Safety Promotion Campaign aims at promoting the public member’s awareness of the safety of mountain activities so as to reduce mountain accidents. In this campaign CAS works with various government departments and organisations to organise different activities to enhance the variety and appeal of the campaign. During the campaign, CAS hosted a series of online seminar, one of which is the “GFS’s Role in Mountain Search and Rescue”.
On November 12, HKPF held a cross-sectoral traffic accident exercise code-named "QUICKSKILL 2021" at the Tuen Mun EcoPark to strengthen the resilience and cooperation of various stakeholders in handling major traffic accidents.
The exercise simulated a private car driver who was driving under the influence of drugs, causing a truck, coach and school bus to collide, resulted in multiple trapped casualties. More than 200 representatives from the New Territories North Region, Castle Peak District Auxiliary Police, Marine Police, Fire Services Department, Government Flying Service, Hong Kong St. John Ambulance Service, Kwong Ming Ying Loi School and related organisations participated in the exercise.
HKPF will continue to conduct regular cross-sectoral exercises to test and refine contingency plans to prepare for rescue operations in response to major incidents.
Video Credit: HKPF
【Cross-department Rescue Exercise TKO Cross Bay Link Industrial Accident】
GFS joints force with FSD and CEDD for a rescue exercise at TKO cross bay link. We hope, through drill and exercise, to enhance the preparedness and responsiveness of all participating departments to deal with an emergency situation. The exercise simulates 2 construction workers suffered from an industrial accident and awaiting rescue on the bridge and the bridge pier respectively.
As the cross bay link is still under construction, all participating rescuers are deployed to the scene by sea and air.
You are welcomed to view the exercise video from the following link:
Video Credit: Fire Services Department
Medical Retrieval Exercise
On the 16th of August, 2021, our Challenger 605 aircraft, BLVA, conducted a medical retrieval training flight. The flight was part of the annual training for Air Medical Officers (AMO) and Air Medical Nursing Officers (AMNO); and simulated an emergency scenario, where a Hong Kong resident suffering from a serious head injury in a foreign country, having already undergone a brain surgery and tracheostomy, required emergency air medical retrieval back to Hong Kong.
Our fixed-wing aircraft is capable of providing air medical services, and can house a full medical bed, oxygen bottles, along with essential equipment such as the infusion pumps, CPR machine, and patient monitor.
As seen in the photos below, our team of medics were carrying out various medical procedures to stablise the dummy patient, including administering necessary medication, inserting a catheter, and closely monitoring his vitals. Our air crewmen officers were also on standby in the cabin to ensure the safety of all persons on board and were ready to render assistance to the AMO and AMNO.
【Cross-disciplined Forces Training Programme for Ethnic Minority Youth】
Multi-ethnic Youth engagement event - The 4th "Cross-disciplined Forces Training Programme for Ethnic Minority Youth" was held on 23rd August 2021 at HKAYP Jockey Club Duke of Edinburgh Training Camp. The event was organized by the Police Public Relations Branch (PPRB); actively participated and supported by all disciplined services.
Two Helicopter Pilots represent the GFS to participate in this event, we hope, through experience sharing and adventure activities, to provide all participants with discipline, physical fitness and group trainings, to help ethnic minority youths integrate into society and cultivate positive values.
Secretary for the Civil Service visited the Government Flying Service
On the 18th August 2021, Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick NIP, and Permanent Secretary for the Civil Service Mrs. Ingrid YEUNG visited the Government Flying Service.
With the company of Chief Pilot (Operations) Capt. James Sze, Mr. Nip took a trip on the H175 Helicopter from Wan Chai Helipad to GFS Headquarters. En-route they watched a simulated coastal rescue mission, to have a better understanding of the daily rescue operation.
At GFS headquarters, Mr. Nip was shown around the hangar with ground crew conducting maintenance, and the air crew demonstrated the use of the specialty equipment of aircraft in service.
Afterwards, Mr. Nip visited the Air Command and Control Center (ACCC) and was briefed about daily operations, aircraft dispatch, allocation of resources to deal with the dynamic operational needs and emergency callouts.
Finally, Mr. Nip met with Capt. West Wu, Controller, GFS and the senior management regarding the latest situation of the department, and met with staff representatives from all grades.
Collecting weather data near the tropical depression
On the morning of the 6th July 2021, GFS's Challenger 605 fixed-wing aircraft ,B-LVA, successfully completed a dropsonde mission over the South China Sea. In this mission, the crew deployed a total of 7 radiosondes at several designated locations with the aircraft cruising at 31,000 feet. This mission was a collaboration with the Hong Kong Observatory to track storm conditions by measuring atmospheric parameters as the sondes fall to the surface.
For more information on the dropsonde operation, please refer to the HKO website and the following video (in Cantonese only) produced by HKO:
On the morning of the 26th June 2021, our Challenger 605 fixed-wing aircraft ,B-LVA, conducted three approaches at the Hong Kong International Airport to collect weather information near the airport vicinity, such as wind speed, temperature, humidity and pressure data for the Hong Kong Observatory.
For more information on windshear and its associated hazards, please refer to the HKO website and the following video (in Cantonese only) produced by HKO:
Teenagers from the "Teen Talk" program was organized by the Law Society of Hong Kong visited Hong Kong Government Flying Service (HKGFS) on 10th and 11th of July. With more than 100 participants took part in the event, our aircrew shared with them the vision, mission and value of GFS, alongside with detailed introduction of GFS daily operation as well as a guided tour of our aircraft and equipment.
RTHK - #GovernmentFlyingService
An episode introducing the Government Flying Service is now available through the following link (in Cantonese only):
Thematic Article – Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
The most considerable threat to outdoor activities during the summer months is heat illness, which encompasses any scenario where a person becomes exposed to extreme heat. Heat illness can result in heat exhaustion, or if not properly treated, can result in a heat stroke, which is life threatening.
So how prepared are you to embrace the heat?
Challenge yourself to the following quiz on heat illness:
Nailed the quiz? Want to learn more on heat illnesses? Read on!
Heat Exhaustion / Heat Stroke Are Preventable
Despite the fact that they are preventable, heat related illnesses accounted for 45% to 50% of GFS search and rescue callouts during the summer months. This article provides information and helpful tips to help you better prepare your next hiking trip / outdoor activity.
What Causes Heat Exhaustion / Heat Stroke?
When we get hot, during exercise or exposure to the sun, our body normally cools itself down by means of sweating and increasing breathing rate. However, this might not be enough in an extremely hot and/or humid environment. In these cases, the body temperature rises faster than it can cool itself down, heat exhaustion or even heat stroke will occur.
Cool, pale, clammy skin
Dry and hot skin
Normal body temperature
Body temperature >= 41°C
Rapid heart beat
Cardiac arrest if not treated
What Do We Observe On-scene?
During summer time, GFS is frequently tasked to rescue those suffering from heat illness at the countryside.
Heat exhaustion cases
Victims commonly present with dizziness, headache, nausea and shortness of breath. Our immediate treatments include rapid cooling and fluid rehydration. The helicopter downwash and cabin air-conditioning can also be effective measures to cool down the victims. The rescue crew will prepare them for onward ambulance transfer if their conditions are stable.
Heat stroke cases
However, for victims with prolonged exposure to extremely hot and humid environment, their body will progressively lose the function to regulate the body heat. Signs and symptoms of convulsion, incontinence, altered mental state or even loss of consciousness may develop. The body temperature can reach 41°C or higher; and that is heat stroke.
First aid treatment must be taken promptly or otherwise, their lives will be in danger. In addition to rapid cooling, the rescue crew will closely monitor their conditions, provide the intravenous therapy and prepare for active resuscitation if the case further deteriorates. These cases will be transferred to hospital directly.
“Cool Met Stuff” Video by HKO
What Should I Do As A Bystander?
Before the rescue parties arrive, you can:
Move him/her to a shaded area or provide shelter if possible
Remove excessive clothing and maintain good ventilation
Cool down by water spray or iced fluid
Provide fluid with electrolytes for conscious victim
When the rescue helicopter is around you:
Stow all loose articles that can be blown off by downwash e.g. cap, towel
Draw the rescuers’ attention by waiving colorful object (torch at night)
When the helicopter is approaching your location, squat down to prevent sudden loss of balance due to downwash
How Should I Prepare For My Next Trip?
Wear appropriate clothing
− Lightweight, light coloured, loose-fitting
Schedule your activity
− Pick morning or evening
− Rest in shady areas
Know your limit
− Cut down on exercise during the heat (or reduce intensity)
− Start slowly and pick up the pace gradually
Drink plenty of water / fluids
− Drink more water / fluids, at regular interval. Don’t wait until you are thirsty
− Avoid sugary or alcoholic drinks
Replace salt and minerals
− Sweating removes salt and minerals from the body that need to be replaced
On hot summer days, the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) often issues very hot weather warnings. There are still citizens who are not afraid of the blazing sun and go for hiking and water sports in the suburbs on weekends. Hiking injuries and suspected heatstroke accidents are prone to occur and very often require rescue by the Government Flying Service (GFS). Everyone should be adequately equipped for outdoor activities, and understand the potential risks involved.
Emergency Services • Coming to Your Rescue by Sea, Land and Air • Chapter 3 of 3: Air
Hong Kong boasts a lot of scenic areas perfect for hiking. However, some hikers tend to venture into relatively remote and inaccessible locations. When they are caught up in accidents, rescue officers may not be able to reach and save them within a short period of time.
The Government Flying Service (GFS) plays an instrumental role in such emergencies. With immense flexibility, GFS officers are poised to work with officers from the Hong Kong Police Force as well as Fire and Ambulance Services anytime, providing the strongest backing for emergency services agencies!
"Cool Met Stuff" : Aviators - Tracing Radiation in the Air
One of the vital missions of the Hong Kong Observatory is to monitor the environmental radiation level in Hong Kong. Amongst other work, the Observatory, in collaboration with the Government Flying Service, conducts regular aerial radiological surveillance. We will also conduct emergency exercise every year to simulate the prompt monitoring of aerial radiation level in the unlikely event of a nuclear incident. The latest episode of "Cool Met Stuff" tells you in detail.
Most retired aircraft end up on the scrapheap. But the Government Flying Service has bequeathed one of its old workhorses to the community, to give the public an accessible keepsake of Hong Kong's aviation history.
The Jetstream 41 fixed-wing plane was part of the GFS fleet for 17 years before it was retired in 2016. It was used for search and rescue missions, medical evacuations, law enforcement and aerial surveying.
Recently, it was given a permanent resting place in Kai Tak Runway Park to play a new role - educating the public.
In order to ensure aircraft safety on ground, Government Flying Service has a series of procedures to prevent the aircraft from being damaged during extreme weather conditions. In this episode of the "Cool Met Stuff", we will introduce to you our precautionary procedures for the typhoon season.
This episode is now available at the "Cool Met Stuff" channel on the Observatory webpage and "MyObservatory" mobile application (programme is broadcasted in Cantonese).
Enjoy the show!
Government Flying Service (GFS) and the Hong Kong Observatory have jointly produced an episode of a series of educational programs, "Cool Met Stuff" to introduce to the public the GFS’s work as well as to enhance public's understanding on meteorology.
A new episode is now available at the "Cool Met Stuff" channel on the Observatory webpage and "MyObservatory" mobile application (programme is broadcast in Cantonese).
In this episode, our pilots and aircrewmen officers will show you parts of their daily duties as well as a typical Search and Rescue training flight. You will discover that the weather information provided by the Hong Kong Observatory has an essential role in our operations.
Youngsters aged 15 to 21 from the "CLAP for Youth@JC" program was orgainsed by the Hong Kong Jockey Club visited Hong Kong Government Flying Service (HKGFS) in April.
Our aircrew shared with them the vision, mission and value of HKGFS, alongside with detailed introduction of the Search and Rescue, Air Ambulance, Fire Fighting mission as well as HKGFS’s supporting role to other government departments.
We hope, through this visit, to kindle the youngsters’ interest in aviation and encourage them to explore the possibilities of joining the sector, especially HKGFS in future.
Government Flying Service New Member - Challenger 605 Aircraft
Government Flying Service (GFS) is pleased to announce that two Challenger 605 aircraft by Bombardier Aerospace are now in service. With a maximum range of 4000 nm (7408 km) and maximum cruising speed of 470 kts (870 km/h), the two new aircraft will be able to further enhance our capability in Long-Range search and rescue and other special mission applications, such as the air data collection related to windshear, turbulence and tropical cyclones. Its multi-role adaptability will also provide us with greater flexibility in our daily operations
The Legislative Council Panel on Security visited the Government Flying Service
The Legislative Council Panel on Security conducted a visit to the Government Flying Service on 7th October, 2015 to better understand its operation and the emergency services provided. Members first visited the Maintenance Information and Control Centre and received a briefing on the work of GFS. Members then toured the Hanger to better understand the equipment of different types of aircraft. Members also visited the Air Command and Control Centre and were briefed by the representatives of GFS on the flight dispatch and supervisory roles of the Command Centre. Before concluding the visit, Members met with the frontline staff to learn more about their daily work.
The Vice-Governor of the People's Government of Guangdong Province and Director of the Guangdong Provincial Maritime Search and Rescue Centre, Mr Liu Zhigeng, visited the Government Flying Service
The Vice-Governor of the People's Government of Guangdong Province and Director of the Guangdong Provincial Maritime Search and Rescue Centre, Mr Liu Zhigeng, along with the officials of the Guangdong Provincial Communications Department and the Guangdong Maritime Safety Administration visited the Government Flying Service on 23rd September 2015.
Mr Liu expressed appreciation and gratitude for the long range rescue provided by the GFS of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, in particular for two maritime rescue operations on 21st July 2015 in which the GFS rescued 20 Chinese crew members from two vessels in distress.
Government Flying Service assisted in a fire in Tai O fishing village
A fire broke out in Tai O fishing village on Lantau Island at 15:07 on 2nd May 2013. As the fire scene was remote and difficult to be reached by fire boats and fire engines, the Fire Services Department (FSD) requested assistance from the Government Flying Service (GFS). The GFS launched a Super Puma helicopter for water bombing. Several stilt houses at Tai O village were covered in severe flames and dense smoke when the helicopter arrived on scene. It was reported that some liquefied petroleum gas cylinders exploded causing the flames. Also, there were intensive stilt houses surrounding the fire scene. These factors increased the difficulty for the fire fighting. Through a good communication with the on-scene commander from the FSD, the helicopter precisely dropped four buckets of water over the flames. The fire was under control at 16:49 and the helicopter returned to the GFS headquarters. Finally, the fire was extinguished before 17:00.
Government Flying Service underslung a bomb near Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir
A bomb was found near Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir by a hiker on the afternoon of 12th March 2013. The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau (EOD) of the Hong Kong Police Force confirmed that the bomb was not dangerous and suspected to be left during the Second World War. As the bomb was heavy and weighted 250 kg, it was not easy to be removed from its location which was a slope and surrounded by trees. Hence, the EOD requested assistance from the Government Flying Service (GFS). On 13th March, GFS sent a Super Puma helicopter to undersling the bomb from its location to the base of EOD at Jardine’s Lookout.
1 July 2012 - 15th Anniversary of the Establishment of the HKSAR - Fly Past
The HKCEC Heliport will be put into service starting from 28 May 2012
As of 07:00 on 28 May 2012, all flying operations by the Government Flying Service (GFS) will be transferred from our current heliport at Hung Hing Road to the heliport at Expo Drive East, next to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Expo Drive East, next to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Please refer to the map and photos as shown below.
One passenger waiting room and four car parking spaces are available.
If large vans or lorries are to be used, clients should submit such request with the booking so that special arrangements can be made. The heliport is next to the Wan Chai Ferry Terminal and the Bauhinia Square Bus Terminal if public transport is required.
As the heliport is next to a major tourist attraction, it will inevitably affect the tourists nearby if helicopters are sitting on the helipad with rotors running. To assist in the noise abatement measures, clients are advised to ensure their arrival of at least 15 minutes before the boarding time for safety briefing and boarding.
To ensure the security of the facility, access will only be granted to those named on the tasking request on production of a photo ID. The only exception will be Emergency Services Staff carrying out their duties during Emergency Response.
Government Flying Service orders two Challenger 605 aircraft
Government Flying Service (GFS) is pleased to announce that Bombardier Aerospace has been awarded the tender to deliver two Challenger 605 aircraft to GFS. With a maximum range of 4000 nm (7408 km) and maximum cruising speed of 470 kts (870 km/h), we believe the two new aircraft will be able to further enhance our capability in Long-Range search and rescue and other special mission applications. Its multi-role adaptability will also provide us with greater flexibility in our daily operations. We look forward to the delivery of the two new aircraft.
The picture below shows the Challenger 605 aircraft in a tentative colour scheme.
Air Monitoring Joint Operation with The Hong Kong Observatory
On 21 March 2011, the Hong Kong Observatory and Government Flying Service conducted a Joint Operation to measure and monitor the radiation level in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Life Saving Society – Life Saving Star Award
The Director of Leisure and Cultural Services Department,
Mrs. Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee JP, officiated at the
Water Safety Campaign 2009 Rescue Star & Honorary Lifeguard
Incentive Scheme Presentation Ceremony on 29 May 2010.
A total of 129 people who saved other peoples lives
in different situations were commended, amongst them
Acting Aircrewman Officer II Mr. Philip Ho from the
Government Flying Service, who was honored with the
'Life Saving Star Award' for his actions
during the rescue of 4 sailors in distress, 67 Nautical
miles North East of Hong Kong waters on 2 February 2010.
After a rigorous adjudication process, it was announced
that the Government Flying Service was the most outstanding
team, and was awarded the Chairman's Trophy.
The GFS rescue team was awarded the Trophy in recognition
of the exemplary act of gallantry displayed during the
same rescue mission on 2 February 2010.
On 2 Feb 2010, the GFS rescue helicopter crewed by
Captain Ellen Yan, Captain James Sze, winch-operator
Mr. Kenny Cheng and winchman Mr. Philip Ho departed
Hong Kong for four sailors in distress, 67 nautical
miles Northeast of HK. The on-scene weather was extremely
poor with visibility down to 2 km, cloud base at around
500 feet, wind up to 35 knots and a sea swell up to
5 meters. The team located the survivors in a rough
and unforgiving sea. Mr. Ho was lowered into the water
and successfully rescued all of the survivors. One of
the survivors was unconscious, was not breathing and
had no pulse. After 30 minutes of continuous cardiac-pulmonary
resuscitation and defibrillation, the survivor regained
consciousness and was transferred to hospital for medical
The key to the success of the mission was the spirit
of GFS – excellent crew cooperation and Crew Resource
Day 2009 - Fly Past
of 2009 Civil Service Outstanding Service Award Scheme
– Team Award - Specialised Service Award
The Acting Chief Executive, Mr Henry Tang, commended
and congratulated the winning departments and teams
for their commitment to service excellence, keeping
Hong Kong as a city of quality life, when officiating
at the prize presentation ceremony of the 2009 Civil
Service Outstanding Service Award Scheme on 29 September
2009. Government Flying Service won the Champion
of the Team Award - Specialised Service Award.
In his address, Mr Tang spoke highly of the outstanding
achievements of the winning departments and teams. He
quoted two cases of exemplary service, including the
project of intercepting drains at the Queen's Road Central
and the Sichuan disaster relief operation in 2008, which
amply demonstrated the pursuit of excellence and people-based
culture of the civil service.
The Champion's commendable features: The GFS responded
promptly after the 12 May Sichuan Devastating Earthquake
had occurred. In their first-time venture into unfamiliar,
far-flung regions for rescue missions, the crew fully
proved their team spirit and determination. Constantly
faced by great risks, the flying crews and the engineering
support personnel overcame the ever-changing conditions
of the quake-stricken areas and succeeded in accomplishing
their rescue missions.
Xi Jinping met with members of government departments
that had taken part in search and rescue efforts in
Sichuan after the May 12 earthquake at the Government
Flying Service hangar.
Source: Information Services Department
with US Naval Ship
On 28th July 2007, a US Naval ship hosted
the Hong Kong Government Flying Service for a joint
search and rescue exercise 40 kilometers south of
Hong Kong, involving one Jetstream aeroplane and one
superpuma helicopter. The GFS helicopter carried out
landing practice and a rescue winching exercise with
the US Naval Ship. This is the first time a GFS helicopter
practiced rescue winching from a US Naval Ship.