The long-range search-and-rescue capabilities of the Government Flying Service (GFS) are to be significantly improved with the purchase of two new jets. A contract has been signed for the purchase of two British Aerospace Jetstream J41 jets which can fly faster and further and stay longer at sea rescue scenes than the Super King Air planes currently in service. The GFS, moving to a new base at Chek Lap Kok next year, will take delivery of the new planes in September, at a combined cost of $140 million. Chief Pilot (Aeroplanes) Captain Ceri Harris said the Jetstream J41 could, for example, spend two hours at a rescue scene 560 kilometres away. The Super King Air planes can only spend 30 minutes at such a distance before having to turn around and return. 'Also, it's bigger which means we can carry and drop more equipment. 'We can stock up with more liferafts and dinghies to drop,' Captain Harris said. 'The time it takes to get there and the amount of time we can spend once we do get there - these are the important things and in both respects the Jetstream is better than the aircraft we have at the moment. 'It also offers better observation, with panoramic windows, and it has extra equipment including a very powerful radar and infra-red TV cameras, and is equipped with satellite communications, which we don't currently have.' The GFS considered every suitable aircraft before choosing the Jetstream, which is being modified for the search-and-rescue role. Captain Harris said: 'We got a bargain for the price because we are the first operators of the Jetstream in the search-and-rescue role in the world, so they have given us a very good deal. 'It is being specially built to our specifications.' The long-range capability of the new jets means they can reach destinations such as Beijing and Singapore. Captain Harris said the new planes would also aid other work. 'We do aerial surveys, work with the police and Immigration Department. We check all the landing aids at the new airport and work for the Royal Observatory. 'Every job we do will be able to be done more quickly and efficiently,' he said. GFS pilots are to be trained to fly the jets at Prestwick in Scotland, where they are made. The Super King Airs will be sold in Hong Kong at the end of next year.