There will probably be a whirr of emotion for Brian Cluer when his plane hurtles down the runway past the Government Flying Service hanger today. The retiring GFS controller is leaving Kai Tak and Hong Kong for good. In his jet stream is an aviation career spanning 38 years, 18 spent here. He also leaves behind a super-efficient and expanded flying service, which has successfully inherited many of the tasks formerly carried out by the RAF. The reins have been handed to a local, Brian Butt, who in turn commands 256 staff, predominantly Chinese. Of the 40 pilots, nine are expatriates. In a final interview with the South China Morning Post, Mr Cluer said: 'Localisation has always been my priority along with safety. The local guys must take over and the sooner the better.' His flying career spans the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Air Force, the Saudi Air Force and Cathay Pacific. But he rates the last three years with the GFS as 'the best of his life'. 'It's nice to be recognised. But all I have done is pull the cork, like Aladdin, out of the bottle and let the very talented genies escape.' Mr Cluer and his successor agrees it will be business as usual for GFS after the handover. Mr Butt, a former police inspector who has worked in CID, the police tactical unit and the Commercial Crime Bureau, is looking forward to meeting the PLA and getting relations off to a good start. 'They have mentioned they are going to deploy some helicopters, but we don't know any more. I see no reason why we can't have a good working relationship with the PLA,' he said. Mr Cluer added: 'From what we can gauge they are taking more of an interest in search and rescue. They send observers to look at our annual exercises.' Mr Butt, 42, hopes his police experience will pay dividends, since 50 per cent of GFS work is with police on operations in their three Sikorsky S70 Blackhawk helicopters. As for Mr Cluer retirement looks decidedly slippery. He's moving to Whistler, British Columbia in Canada where there are plenty of snow-covered slopes to pursue his hobby of skiing. He confesses he still has a need for speed. 'It's also a lot of fun and the ski crowd are a merry lot who enjoy a jug of beer at the end of the day . . . I don't mind one either.'