September 23, 2015|ENO CENTER FOR TRANSPORTATION
This is a series of Nixon White House memos from October 1972 – Congress had presented the President with the enrolled bill S. 3755, the Airport Development Acceleration Act of 1972. The bill would have increased Airport Improvement Program contract authority by $70 million per year, increased the federal matching share for AIP projects at small, medium and non-hub airports from 50% to 75%, and would have banned all local airport “head taxes” (now called Passenger Facility Charges). There was internal debate in the White House over whether or not to veto the bill over the increased spending levels or the head tax ban (or both). In the end, the President pocket vetoed the bill on October 27, 1972, but as the last memo in this file (from December 1972) the statement he issued dropped a reference to the head tax ban that had been proposed by OMB. As some in the White House staff predicted in the memos, Congress quickly passed similar legislation in the following Congress, which Nixon signed into law as Public Law 93-44, section 7 of which banned airport from collecting head taxes/PFCs.