Executive Order 12597 -- Establishing Procedures for Facilitating Presidential Review of International Aviation Decisions by the Department of Transportation

May 13, 1987

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including Section 801 of the Federal Aviation Act, as amended (49 U.S.C. app. 1461), and in order to provide presidential guidance to department and agency heads and facilitate presidential review of decisions by the Department of Transportation pursuant to the Federal Aviation Act, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Executive Order No. 12547 of February 6, 1986, is revoked.

Sec. 2. The Secretary of Transportation is designated and empowered to receive on behalf of the President any decision of the Department of Transportation (hereinafter referred to as the ``DOT'') subject to Section 801 of the Federal Aviation Act, as amended. The Secretary of Transportation is further designated and empowered to exercise, without the approval, ratification, or other action of the President, the authority of the President under Section 801 of the Federal Aviation Act, as amended, to review and determine not to disapprove any such decision that is not the subject of any written recommendation for disapproval or for a statement of reasons submitted to the Department of Transportation in accordance with section 5(b) of this Order.

Sec. 3. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, decisions of the DOT subject to Section 801 of the Federal Aviation Act, as amended, may be made available by the DOT for public inspection and copying following transmission to Executive departments and agencies pursuant to section 3(c) of this Order.

(b) In the interests of national security, and in order to allow for consideration of appropriate action under Executive Order No. 12356, decisions of the DOT transmitted to Executive departments and agencies pursuant to section 3(c) of this Order shall be withheld from public disclosure for a period not to exceed 5 days after said transmission.

(c) At the same time that decisions of the DOT are received by the Secretary of Transportation pursuant to section 2 of this Order, the DOT shall transmit copies thereof to the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Attorney General, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and any other Executive department or agency that the DOT deems appropriate.

(d) The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, or their designees, shall review the decisions of the DOT transmitted pursuant to section 3(c) of this Order and shall promptly advise the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs or his designee whether action pursuant to Executive Order No. 12356 is deemed appropriate. If, after considering these recommendations, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs determines that classification under Executive Order No. 12356 is appropriate, he shall take such action and immediately so inform the DOT. Action pursuant to this subsection shall be completed by the persons designated herein within 5 days of the transmission of the decision.

(e) On and after the 6th day following transmission of a DOT decision pursuant to section 3(c) of this Order, or upon earlier notification by the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs or his designee, the DOT is authorized to disclose all unclassified portions of the text of such decision. Nothing in this section is intended to affect the ability to withhold material under any Executive order or statute other than Section 801.

Sec. 4. (a) Departments and agencies outside of the Executive Office of the President shall raise only matters of national defense or foreign relations in the course of the presidential review established by this Order. All other matters, including those related to regulatory policy, shall be presented to the DOT in accordance with the procedures of the DOT.

(b) Departments and agencies outside of the Executive Office of the President that identify matters of national defense or foreign relations while a decision is pending before the DOT shall, except as confidentiality is required for reasons of defense or foreign policy, make those matters known to the DOT in the course of its proceedings.

Sec. 5. (a) The DOT shall receive the recommendations, addressed to the President, of the departments and agencies referred to in section 3(c) of this Order.

(b) Departments or agencies outside of the Executive Office of the President making recommendations on matters of national defense or foreign relations with respect to any decision received by the Secretary of Transportation under section 2 of this Order shall submit their recommendations in writing to the DOT: (1) within 4 days of the DOT's issuance of a decision subject to a 10-day statutory review period under Section 801(b); and (2) within 21 days of the DOT's issuance of a decision subject to a 60-day statutory review period under Section 801(a); or (3) in exceptional cases, within the period specified by the DOT in its letter of transmittal.

(c) The DOT shall, as soon as practical after the deadlines specified in section 5(b) of this Order: (1) if no recommendations for disapproval or for a statement of reasons are received from the departments and agencies specified in section 3(c) of this Order, issue its decision to become effective according to its terms; or (2) if recommendations for disapproval or for a statement of reasons are received, transmit them to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, who, upon review, shall transmit a memorandum to the President with a recommendation as to whether or not the President should disapprove the proposed decision.

Sec. 6. (a) In advising the President with respect to his review of a decision pursuant to Section 801, departments and agencies outside of the Executive Office of the President shall identify with particularity the defense or foreign policy implications of the DOT decision that are deemed appropriate for consideration.

(b) If any department or agency that made recommendations to the President pursuant to Section 801 believes that, if the President decides not to disapprove a decision, the letter so advising the DOT should include a statement that the decision not to disapprove was based on national defense or foreign relations reasons, it should so indicate separately and explain why.

Sec. 7. Individuals within the Executive Office of the President shall follow a policy of: (a) refusing to discuss matters relating to the disposition of a case subject to the review of the President under Section 801 with any interested private party, or an attorney or agent for any such party, prior to the decision by the President or his designee; and (b) referring any written communication from an interested private party, or an attorney or agent for any such party, to the appropriate department or agency outside of the Executive Office of the President. Exceptions to this policy may be made only when the head of an appropriate department or agency outside of the Executive Office of the President personally finds, on a nondelegable basis, that direct written or oral communication between a private party and a person within the Executive Office of the President is needed for reasons of defense or foreign policy.

Sec. 8. Departments and agencies outside of the Executive Office of the President that regularly make recommendations in connection with the presidential review pursuant to Section 801 shall, consistent with applicable law, including the provisions of Chapter 5 of Title 5 of the United States Code:

(a) establish public dockets for all written communications (other than those requiring confidential treatment for defense or foreign policy reasons) between their officers and employees and private parties in connection with the preparation of such recommendations; and

(b) prescribe such other procedures governing oral and written communications as they deem appropriate.

Sec. 9. This Order is intended solely for the internal guidance of the departments and agencies in order to facilitate the presidential review process. This Order does not confer rights on any private parties.

Sec. 10. None of the time deadlines specified in this Order shall be construed as a limitation on expedited presidential review of any decision under Section 801.

Sec. 11. The provisions of this Order shall become effective upon publication in the Federal Register and shall govern the review of any proposed decisions of the DOT that have not become final prior to that date under Executive Order No. 12547.

Sec. 12. References in any Executive order to any provision in Executive Order No. 12547 shall be deemed to refer to the corresponding provision in this Order.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

May 13, 1987.

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:44 p.m., May 13, 1987]