The reported drone sightings that caused chaos at Gatwick Airport last December cost the UK police force a total of £459,000, figures have revealed.
Sussex Police reported the expensive operations cost the force £419,000, while Surrey Police spent £40,000 in overtime pay-outs.
Despite paying out vast amounts on staffing, the mission to find the reported drones had been unsuccessful leading many in the industry to believe it was not drones that caused the disruption.
According to the BBC, Robert Garbett, from Drone Major Group, a company which advises airports on drone defence and security, said closing the airport was a “massive overreaction”.
He said the issue was not about drones but “preparedness”.
Last month, Sussex Police, the government and Gatwick Airport described the incident as a “sustained” drone attack.
More than 140,000 passengers had their flights disrupted as over 100 so-called drone sightings were reported over three days.
Spending by Sussex Police included £332,000 on overtime and bank holiday pay, £52,000 on basing police officers on the site, £12,000 on mutual aid from other forces in Cambridge and Essex, £14,000 on accommodation and subsistence, £4,000 on equipment and £5,000 on transport.
Sussex Police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne said she ensured the force had “contingency funding” for major incidents.
Bourne explained to the BBC that there were established protocols to recover policing costs as a result of national issues.
She added: “I will be working with the chief constable and seeking to recover from third parties some of the policing costs associated with the investigation into the drone incursions.”