The drone incident that brought operations at Gatwick airport to a standstill shortly before Christmas could have been an “inside job”, police have said.
Hundreds of flights were diverted or cancelled after Gatwick was forced to ground flights for nearly 36 hours over a two-day period shortly before Christmas due to reports of drone activity in and around the airfield.
Chris Woodroofe, Gatwick’s chief operating officer, told the BBC’s Panorama programme at the weekend: "It was clear that the drone operators had a link into what was going on at the airport."
He added the perpetrator had carefully selected a drone that would not be detected by the airport’s drone detection system.
Sussex Police, meanwhile, confirmed to Panorama it is considering the involvement of an insider “a credible line” of enquiry.
About 140,000 passengers were caught up in the disruption, which hit operations at the airport for around 33 hours over 19-21 December 2018, affecting about 1,000 flights.
Gatwick, along with other airports across the UK, have since invested in wider drone protection measures and deterrents, which the government has extended new powers to the police to combat any such drone attacks.