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ATLANTA (AP) — Staffing levels for screeners at Atlanta's airport are prompting some to fear it will lead to long lines.

The concerns stem from a hiring freeze and restrictions on overtime for Transportation Security Administration officers, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"A hiring freeze and overtime cap will undoubtedly make lines longer," union official Hydrick Thomas said in a statement. Hydrick is the American Federation of Government Employees TSA Council 100 president.

The TSA has been dealing with severe understaffing for years, Hydrick added.

The TSA says that it's planning to pay overtime during the busiest of travel periods.

The delay in hiring is necessary to fund a pay increase, according to the TSA's budget overview for the 2021 fiscal year, the Journal-Constitution reported.

It adds that it will have two hiring windows to coincide with the busy summer travel season.

The airport's general manager says the hope is that the federal agency can manage through its budget concerns.

"We are hopeful they resolve their budget issues quickly," Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport General Manager John Selden said.

The airport will "do everything we can to help the TSA," Selden said.

Airport workers and Delta employees have been assisting with management of lines leading to security checkpoints and helping passengers to prepare for screening.

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