Making a mockery of security at the Delhi airport, thieves carted away aircraft parts weighing 3,000 kg - the weight of a two-seater Cessna plane - worth Rs 1 crore from two Air India godowns inside the airport complex.
The items lugged away were mostly engine parts and blades of Boeing aircraft and were probably headed for the black market, a police officer said on condition of anonymity.
About 1,700 engine parts were stolen from the AI's engine overhaul complex on the high-security airside of the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
"The incident raises serious security concerns as Delhi airport is manned by more than 4,000 Central Industrial Security Force personnel," the officer said.
"To take out items weighing 3,000kg is a huge task and we suspect the involvement of insiders," he added.
An Air India official said the thefts were detected on June 15 and June 29 but reported to the police in September-end after an internal enquiry failed to identify the culprits.
"The items stolen were bulky and can't be transported by an individual," the police officer said.
"We are very close to cracking the case," said RA Sanjeev, DCP (Airport).