May 22,2007 00:00
NEW YORK - Waiting lines for U.S. Customs passenger clearance at gateway airports are growing longer as the agency has exhausted its hiring budget for the year.
Paul Haney, deputy executive director at Los Angeles International Airport, told USA Today some passengers at the Tom Bradley International Terminal had to wait three hours for clearance on Saturday, which he said was "a situation not seen since the peak travel season of 2000."
At Washington's Dulles Airport, airport chief Jim Bennett said he expected to see 2005 levels of customs staffing, while there has been 18 percent growth in international passengers since then, the newspaper said
Robert Jacksta, Customs chief of traveler security, told USA Today more overtime has been approved for this summer and major airlines have been asked to alter international schedules to avoid bottlenecks.
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