The growing demand for an increased quantity and variety of domain names on the Web requires the addition of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). In the business environment .com is the symbol of today's new economy. It is not, however, the sole choice on the market. Domain names represent entities under the gTLDs: .com (commercial entities), .edu (educational institutions), .net (networks), .org (nongovernmental or nonprofit organizations), and .int (international treaty organizations). More than 25 million names are now registered under those gTLDs, with half having been registered in the past three years. Other gTLDs include .gov (government organizations) and .mil (military establishments), but those are used only in the United States.
Domain names under the two-letter country codes, otherwise known as ccTLDs, that are defined by the ISO 3166 table, represent nations. In total, there are 243 ccTLDs registries worldwide, with more than 6 million domains registered. However, only about 20 of them have more than 10,000 domain registrations.
New gTLDs Are Added to the Current Scheme
In 1993 the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) introduced the current naming convention scheme by designating NSI, Inc., as sole administrator for .com. Three domain names were registered daily at the time, compared with more than 25,000 today. In July 2000 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization that manages Internet address and naming space, decided to introduce new gTLDs into the current scheme. After years of debate and numerous attempts, new gTLDs will hit the market at the end of 2001 (.biz, .info, and .name), which no doubt will help eliminate any future domain name shortages.
On 16 November 2000, after a thorough review of a total of 47 proposals for new suffixes, seven new Internet domain names were selected by the ICANN Board of Directors. The first major addition of Internet suffixes was approved in Marina del Rey, California, as follows:
Unsponsored (has a registry operator and is open to anyone)
Sponsored (has a sponsor and a selected registry operator and is restricted to a specific community)
Communities with New gTLDs
aero allows members of the aviation community to obtain their own set of domains in the related naming space. It allows creation of a brand-coherent and restrictive naming structure for each company, organization, and application, thereby helping identify each one clearly and quickly. It enhances brand recognition, marketing, operations, and ultimately safety through authentication registrant. It facilitates a predictable naming convention within the entire community. And it will make it possible for customers to more easily find members of the aviation community on the Web.
In addition, .aero facilitates the deployment of a variety of new applications and services once the information has been cataloged systematically and reliably. It aims to provide a differentiator label for the members of the community
Who can apply for .aero domains? Aviation community members including but not limited to airlines; the aerospace industry; airport authorities and operators; civil aviation operators, including air traffic service providers, the air freight industry, air logistics companies, global distribution systems, computer reservation systems (CRS), educational centers and information providers, aviation clubs, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, specialized media, suppliers, and other stakeholders.
Which domain types can be registered? Industry codes such as IATA two-character airline designators (Resolution 762) or ; IATA three-letter location (airport) designators (Resolution 763), corporate names, trademarks (brand names); and aviation functional names, services, and applications.
New TLDs Status
"This is a momentous step forward in the continuing evolution of the Internet's domain name system," said Vint Cerf, chairman of the ICANN Board of Directors, upon the signing of these agreements. "However, it is just one step among many in a long process of providing consumers with the benefits of competition through a variety of domain name options and services."
SITA is seeking to sign the TLD Sponsorship Agreement with ICANN, with the blessing of the U.S. Department of Commerce, before the end of the year. SITA plans to ensure that the entire aviation community benefits from the .aero initiative and to maximize the number of registrations. The target for starting to register .aero names is the first quarter of 2002.
For more information, see http://www.icann.org/tlds.