20 pilots tested alcohol positive in 9 months: Ajit

New Delhi: Twenty pilots belonging to different commercial airlines were found to be `alcohol positive` in pre-flight tests between June last year and February this year, the government said today.

"20 pilots have tested alcohol positive during pre- flight medical examination for the consumption of alcohol while on duty from June 1, 2011 to February 29, 2012," Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

In the details provided by Singh, 19 of these 20 pilots have been kept off flying duty for a period of 3 months.

In one instance in January this year when the pilot had been tested positive for a second time, his licence was cancelled for a period of 5 years, Singh said. Singh told the House that rules required airlines to conduct the tests before all domestic flights and every 15 days at foreign airports.