Gatwick: UK police 'sorry' for arrested couple that has no connection to drones
aul Gait and Elaine Kirk, who were released without charge, said they felt "violated" after their home was searched and their identities exposed, NNC reported.
Giles York told the BBC Radio 4's Today programme he was "convinced the grounds for arrest were well-founded".
Two drones found near the airport have been ruled out of being involved.
Mr York defended the decision to hold Mr Gait for an extended period, despite his employer saying he was at work during the drone flights.
He added: "I'm really sorry for what [Mr Gait] has experienced and the feeling of violation around it.
"[But] what might have been worse as an experience for him would have been to be released under investigation still.
"We were able to exhaust all our lines of inquiry on that first instance and were able to release him from police custody saying he was no longer a suspect."
Mr York said police received 115 reports of sightings, including 93 confirmed as coming from "credible people", which he later said included a pilot, airport staff and police officers.
He admitted police drones launched to investigate could have caused "some level of confusion".
However, the Sussex force later denied the use of police drones had caused any disruption. ■