THE Government Flying Service is set to lose a vital outpost after the middle of next year because the administration has no plans to ask the PLA whether the service can continue to use the Sek Kong airfield. Service controller Brian Cluer said yesterday he hoped the service, which performs most of the vital airborne search and rescue operations, would be able to use the base after the handover. It shares Sek Kong with the Royal Air Force but, after June next year, the base will be handed over to the People's Liberation Army. 'We don't know what will happen but we hope we will be able to use it,' said Mr Cluer. 'It is not a decision for us: the people to ask are the Security Branch.' The branch confirmed yesterday there were no plans to discuss the possibility of sharing the base. 'Sek Kong airfield will be handed over to the Chinese Garrison in 1997,' a spokesman said. 'We have provided information to the Chinese side on the present use of the Sek Kong airfield. There is no discussion . . . of Sek Kong's use by the Government Flying Service after June 1997 at Joint Liaison Group Level.' The spokesman confirmed there would be no discussion at any level, effectively ruling out joint use. The airfield is used by the service for maintenance and forms part of its operational strategy. Its main base is at Kai Tak, but will be at Chek Lap Kok in 1998. Mr Cluer said yesterday the final local pilots who would replace the original 30 expatriate pilots would have joined the service by the end of the year. Mr Cluer will be replaced in June by Brian Butt, and the service, about 270-strong, will be fully localised in eight to 10 years' time.