Aviation group wants candidates to focus on private jets in debate

General aviation groups have sharply criticized Obama for previous statements he has made about the amount of taxes that are paid by private jet owners. In the past, Obama has proposed increasing the fee that is paid per takeoff for non-commercial flights to as much as $100.

Obama has framed the increase as a small amount of money to someone who can afford to fly privately, but Hendricks said that was besides the point.

“Without question, general aviation pays its fair share of taxes, but clearly both candidates need to focus on the more important issue: our significant contribution to the U.S. economy,” he said. “When the U.S. economy comes roaring back, general aviation is going to be playing an important role in the front lines.”

Neither debate so far — Obama and Romney's first meeting or the only matchup between Vice President Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) — has touched on many transportation issues, but Hendrick said he was "hopeful" about Tuesday's encounter.

“I am hopeful that as both candidates participate in tomorrow night’s town-hall debate they will take the opportunity to highlight the invaluable services that the general aviation community provides to the U.S. and global economy now and moving forward,” he said.