Amazon's delivery drone plans may be grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration's proposed rules, but there are other industries that are going to benefit, the president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International told CNBC on Tuesday.
Over the weekend, the FAA published new draft rules that said drones can't fly over people not directly involved in its operation. The agency also said the drone operators would have to see the unmanned aircraft with "unaided vision."
"There's a tremendous amount of economic activity and benefit that gets unlocked when we can fly under 500 feet, line of sight, away from people. You've got agriculture, you've got moviemaking, you've got inspecting high electricity lines and so forth," the association's Brian Wynne said in an interview Tuesday with "Closing Bell."
"There's a lot that can be done with that but there is more coming after that."
The FAA's move appears to dash Amazon's hope to use drones to deliver packages to customers. The agency is now consulting with the public and has stressed that the rules would be flexible.
Wynne said the FAA noted there are other things going on in parallel with these new rules. He believes this is just the beginning of what he expects to be a very lengthy process.
"We can get this going and … ultimately we see operating beyond line of sight, autonomous vehicles, there's all kind of things out there in the future. "
He also stressed that the association has a public safety campaign in place so that drones don't interfere with airplanes.
"We're trying to educate people about that right now," he said. "The biggest challenge we have right now is getting the word out, situational awareness."