TOP LEVEL DOMAIN APPLICATION
DESCRIPTION OF TLD POLICIES
Submission to ICANN
18 October, 2000
Description of TLD Policies
I. GENERAL TLD POLICIES (Required for all TLDs. Note that two special policy areas--policies during the start-up period and restrictions on who may register within the TLD and for what purpose--are covered in sections II and III below.)
This proposes the adoption of a Top Level Domain for the entire Air Transport Community (ATC), ".air". In this Description of TLD Policies proposal, the definition of ATC is: "All companies and organizations for which the main activity is related to Air Transport."
The ATC includes airlines, aerospace companies, airport authorities and governmental organizations. This TLD will provide a clear and relevant presence and access for air transportation in cyberspace.
The policies that already exist for the airline industry will be applied. These policies have been used for 50 years and have stood the challenge of technology evolution, and time.
The reference documents for these policies are IATA recommended practices 762 (2 letter airline designation) and 763 (3 letter location designators). The recommended practices of ICAO and ACI will be also followed when applicable to naming conventions.
This proposal for the ".air" domain will adopt the considerable amount of policy and procedures that have been agreed by the industry participants, working through Organizations like IATA, ICAO, ACI and SITA, that have already documented naming conventions used consistently in day-to-day business. These rules have evolved over the last 50 years and are a necessary part of communication between the industry participants, both for personal communication and real time host to host interactions.
These conventions have been disrupted by the uncontrolled evolution of ".com" and the benefits to all parts of the ATC of a stable platform have been lost. The advent of ".air" will enable the air-transport industry to re-institute policies appropriate to the new environment that the Internet represents. The introduction of industry specific domain names will enable the industry to enhance the naming conventions and raise the level of automation between systems and people.
Unlike other industries the ATC consists of well-recognized companies, many of whom are government owned, listed on stock exchanges, and which in all cases are required to be licensed, accredited or designated to operate.
These companies will be the only ones eligible for registration in the initial period. The abuse that may occur in an open environment, where any company or person can register for a name, is not an issue within this closed community.
It is pertinent to note that SITA operates a worldwide seamless network in 220 countries and territories for over 700 members all belonging to the air transport industry. SITA’s long established neutrality is recognized by all its customers and members.
E1. In General. Please provide a full and detailed description of all policies to be followed in the TLD (other than those covered in response to items E11-E21). If the TLD's policy on a particular topic is proposed to be identical to that reflected by a particular version of any of the following documents, it is sufficient for your response to identify the topic, to give a brief summary of the policy, and for the details to reference the document and section:
ICANN Registrar Accreditation Agreement
NSI Registrar License and Agreement
ICANN-NSI Registry Agreement
Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy
Your response should comprehensively describe policies on all topics to be followed in connection with the proposed TLD. The following items (E2-E10) are examples only and should not limit your description.
E2. TLD String. Please identify the TLD string(s) you are proposing. For format requirements for TLD strings, see the answer to FAQ #5.
The standard TLD string will be: ".air" (dot-Air), ".aer" and ".aero"
E3. Naming conventions. Describe the naming conventions and structure within the TLD. E.g., will registrants have names registered at the second level (directly under the TLD, as in registered-name.com), or will the TLD be organized with sub-domains so that registered domain names are created at a lower level (as in registered-name.travel.com)?
Registrants will have the option of a series of names at the second level. This will enable registrants to use the traditional two and three letter company/location codes designators for specific operational purposes, particularly where host-to-host or flight specific transactions are involved. The industry, working through IATA is responsible for allocating and managing these codes. ICAO will provide the airport codes. The ".air" domain will be only attributed to members of the ATC.
Registrants will also be offered a third level-domain as described in the table below, where departmental and functional names will be used.
ATC Standard Systems
System Names (Specific)
E4. Registrars. Describe in detail the policies for the selection of, and the competition amongst registrars. Will domain-name holders deal through registrars, directly with the registry operator, or some combination of the two? What are the respective roles, functions, and responsibilities for the registry operator and registrars? If registrars are to be employed, how and by whom will they be selected or accredited? If the number of registrars will be restricted, what number of registrars will be selected? Have the qualifying registrars already been selected ? On what basis will selections among those seeking to be registrars be made, and who will make them ? If registrars are to be used, what mechanisms will be used to ensure that TLD policies are implemented?
Given the particular regulatory environment in which the ATC operates, including stringent licensing of operators and registration of equipment, the initial registrars need to be organizations that have intimate knowledge of the airline industry and therefore of the ICAO intergovernmental conventions, as well as IATA policies and procedures.
In other sectors of the ATC, other equally complex set of rules and procedures apply, with cross obligations for understanding many of the airlines industry procedures. For example, airports need to understand the safety aspects of dangerous goods regulations.
It is proposed to use recognized and representative industry associations, such as IATA, ICAO and the ACI as initial registrars for the entities belonging to their prime activities, because this is a continuation of their industry role, and one in which it has recognition and years of successful administration.
As other business opportunities will come up in the ATC, competition among registrars would be encouraged by not restricting the registrars to this initial number of organizations. After the initial period, more registrars would be offered the possibility to deal with registrants for example at national level.
E5. Intellectual Property Provisions. Describe the policies for protection of intellectual property. Your response should address at least the following questions, as appropriate to the TLD:
Generally, the policies for ".air" will comply with the approach that ICANN has developed for protecting intellectual property rights in the existing gTLDs.
The scope of intellectual property is limited by the fact that the ".air" TLD is restricted with pre-screening of pre-existing names and codes that are already in use by the Air transportation community since the last 50 years.
In particular, the recommendations included in the Final Report (http://wipo2.wipo.int/process1/report/finalreport.html, April 1999) of WIPO on "The Management of Internet Names and Addresses: Intellectual Property Issues" will be considered, when appropriate and applicable, for implementation as Air Name Policy Group (ANPG) policies.
This covers Best Practices for Registrations Authorities, Administrative Procedure Concerning Abusive Domain Name Registration, Exclusions for Famous and Well Known Names, and new gTLDs.
As the answers to the following questions indicate, a number of policies that will be implementing in the ".air" TLD should significantly decrease the potential for infringements of intellectual property rights, particularly because the ".air" domain name space is restricted. The "air" TLD limits the risk of ambiguity and trademark dilution.
The general practice of registering trademarks and the accumulated experience of handling domain names, has resulted in several published revisions of the policy statements which will be followed.
E5.1. What measures will be taken to discourage registration of domain names that infringe intellectual property rights?
For the initial implementation period, the ".air" domain will be attributed only to airlines and airports. We expect to extend the name attributions to other ATC players in subsequent phases of implementation.
The Registry Operator (RO) will establish with the initial registrars a list of contacts within each company that can legitimately claim to be a member of the ".air" domain. The constitution of this list will be eased by the fact that the potential registrars and SITA already maintain a database of contact for their members and customers.
When processing a request for a domain name registration, the registrar will notify the existing contact(s) for the registered company, giving them the possibility to react accordingly.
To avoid as much as possible the registration of domain names that infringe on the Intellectual property rights, the registrars will investigate when registering a non-listed company, and will ask for references from the registrant.
The registrant will be requested to justify his business relationship with at least one company member of the air transportation sector. The registrar will check the information validity. If the information is correct the registration is processed, otherwise the registrant request will be declined.
When registering a name, registrants will accept a registration agreement that specifies the following:
E5.2. If you are proposing pre-screening for potentially infringing registrations, how will the pre-screening be performed ?
As is the practice today, all applications for the second level domain names will be screened and approved by the Air Name Policy Group (ANPG).
A pre-defined list of domain names that legitimately belong to members will be maintained with contact names.
Possible third level names will be designated following the industry standard. The ANPG will provide registrants with industry recommended practice guidelines to discourage IPR infringement.
E5.3. What registration practices will be employed to minimize abusive registrations ?
The database of authorized contacts points will be regularly updated on the interest of the industry. When names have been registered, registrars will advise the authorized contact point for the set of domains that the domain name(s) has/have been registered.
Following WIPO recommendations, there should not be waiting periods before activating the domain name, but the activation will not be performed until the registration fee has been received.
If an ambiguity is detected, the registrar will investigate with involved parties on a potential resolution taking in consideration that different companies may have the same rights to use the same domain name within the same industry sector.
At that stage the registrar will advise the registrant that he selected an already existing domain and proposes to the registrant to select another domain name.
Before entering into a dispute process, it will be recommended to find a compromise using for example the shared domain name facility of Internet One. Registrants that hold the domain name are responsible for its use.
E5.4. What measures do you propose to comply with applicable trademark and anti-cybersquatting legislation?
Infringement of trademark and "cybersquatting" are issues that will be dealt through the ANPG and existing committees and processes. If a dispute cannot be avoided, we will then conform to the dispute resolution policy adopted by ICANN/WIPO.
E5.5. Are you proposing any special protections (other than during the start-up period) for famous trademarks?
We will rely on the ICANN/WIPO proposed policy in matter of Trademarks and Famous or Well-known names protection.
WIPO has recommended a policy enabling Trademark protection, however the mechanism providing this protection is still to be developed.
We will continue to follow closely the progress of WIPO and ICANN in this issue and will implement the defined specifications when available.
E5.6. How will complete, up-to-date, reliable, and conveniently provided Whois data be maintained, updated, and accessed concerning registrations in the TLD?
The Registry Operator will maintain an online database of registered names for second and third level names, in a Whois server for ".air" .
The Whois server will provide information about domain name attributions and IP block allocations. Other typical information are: administrative contacts information, technical contacts information, billing contacts information and DNS servers’ names and IP addresses.
This information is provided by Network Information Centers (NIC) around the world, and allows checking domain name availability as well as identifying people to contact in case of an issue regarding an Internet domain.
E6. Dispute Resolution. Describe the policies for domain name and other dispute resolution. If you are proposing variations to the policies followed in .com, .net, and .org, consider the following questions :
The ANPG will be responsible to advise registrants of the procedures and responsibilities when registering domain names.
ANPG will hold discussions to ensure a full understanding of domain name conflicts and appropriate ways to minimize these conflicts. The ANPG will provide information on dispute resolution services including mandatory procedures and suspension names policies. It will also consider making available alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
E6.1. To what extent are you proposing to implement the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy?
SITA will follow entirely the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) put in place by ICANN for dispute that concern trademark rights.
E6.2. Please describe any additional, alternative, or supplemental dispute resolution procedures you are proposing.
E7. Data Privacy, Escrow, and Whois. Describe the proposed policies on data privacy, escrow and Whois service.
The airline industry already has access-security and data privacy protocols and procedures in place to protect commercially confidential, private and safety related data. These rules will continue to apply.
In addition, SITA will undertake to adopt industry best practice to ensure that all confidential data is protected. SITA already works with escrow to safely store its data.
The technical information and contact given by the registrant will be forwarded to the registry and made publicly available. Other information such as billing contact will be private and kept by the registrar.
The following information will be made publicly available for the Whois service: Full domain name, Organization owner name, Organization physical address Administrative contact Technical contact, Name servers (Primary, Secondary), Registrar name and initial registration date, Expiration of registration, Last modification date.
E8. Billing and Collection. Describe variations in or additions to the policies for billing and collection.
As the initial registrars are industry participants and/or are members of SITA, IATA, ICAO and ACI, transactions between the Registry Operator (RO) and registrars will be made by using industry standard practices and exchange rates.
However, if other entities which are non ATC members become registrars in the future the billing and collection concept will be identical to the current one used for ".com", ".net" and ".org".
E9. Services and Pricing. What registration services do you propose to establish charges for and, for each such service, how much do you propose to charge?
The registry charges registrars for registrations and renewals, each domain-year corresponds to the standard fee determined by the RO on a cost-recovery basis.
Registration fees are expected to decrease over time as the number of registrations increases. Package fees will be also implemented for customers as example if airlines wish to register a large number of names in block.
These will be granted with reduced registration fees per names/year and renewals will be a matter of automatic procedures following the industry standard practices.
The rates are included in the Registry Operator document proposal.
E10. Other. Please describe any policies concerning topics not covered by the above questions.
II. REGISTRATION POLICIES DURING THE START-UP PERIOD (Required for all TLDs)
E11. In this section, you should thoroughly describe all policies (including implementation details) that you propose to follow during the start-up phase of registrations in the TLD, to the extent they differ from the General TLD Policies covered in items E1-E9. The following questions highlight some of the areas that should be considered for start-up policies:
There will be no differences in the policies during the start-up phase.
E12. How do you propose to address the potential rush for registration at the initial opening of the TLD? How many requested registrations do you project will be received by the registry operator within the first day, week, month, and quarter? What period do you believe should be considered the TLD's "start-up period," during which special procedures should apply?
As the airline, airports and aerospace names are already registered in the industry databases the initial name rush could be handled using automated procedures for transferring databases. This also applies to the two letter and three letter airline codes, which are already registered. Airlines will register other second level names, but this can be managed in an orderly fashion.
For this new TLD, particular care will be given to the rights of the intellectual property owners during the introduction of the ".air" TLD, in order to avoid the occurrences of abuses as seen in the past for other gTLDs. As the air transport industry will be continuing with current widely known and understood system, the rush for registration will be somewhat more orderly than might otherwise be the case in other industry sectors.
E13. Do you propose to place limits on the number of registrations per registrant? Per registrar? If so, how will these limits be implemented?
We do not plan to place limitations on the quantity of registrations per registrant.
E14. Will pricing mechanisms be used to dampen a rush for registration at the initial opening of the TLD? If so, please describe these mechanisms in detail.
Rather than using the price to slow the demand, we will give priority to second level domains with already established names, and will deal with new name demands as a second priority. This will ensure that all airlines will be registered with the standard names as quickly as possible and no airline will be disadvantaged by the demands of other participants.
Our expectation is that second level domain will not be in great demand, but third level domains will be.
E15. Will you offer any "sunrise period" in which certain potential registrants are offered the opportunity to register before registration is open to the general public? If so, to whom will this opportunity be offered (those with famous marks, registered trademarks, second-level domains in other TLDs, pre-registrations of some sort, etc.)? How will you implement this?
We do no intend to offer any "sunrise period".
The general public will not be eligible to register. Registrants must be accredited members of the air transport industry. Registrars will start with registration for airlines, airports, and then for the aerospace industry. We will progressively expand the community to other eligible members of the industry.
III. REGISTRATION RESTRICTIONS (Required for restricted TLDs only)
E16. As noted in the New TLD Application Process Overview, a restricted TLD is one with enforced restrictions on (1) who may apply for a registration within the domain, (2) what uses may be made of those registrations, or (3) both. In this section, please describe in detail the restrictions you propose to apply to the TLD. Your description should should define the criteria to be employed, the manner in which you propose they be enforced, and the consequences of violation of the restrictions. Examples of matters that should be addressed are:
The intention of the ".air" is to provide a service to the air transport industry and registrants are restricted to legitimate members of the industry.
For example, IBERIA.air will legitimize the Spanish airline in the corresponding air transportation cyberspace to perform business.
In Spain there other companies that have the same name. IBERIA (travel agency) and IBERIA (Insurance company). In such case, IBERIA.air is clear and allows to position IBERIA airlines in the sector.
E17. Describe in detail the criteria for registration in the TLD. Provide a full explanation of the reasoning behind the specific policies chosen.
The ".air" name is a restricted TLD for the air transportation industry sector. A limited number of exceptions will be constituted for those names that are unknown to the current IATA, ICAO, ACI codes and branding names. The exception names will need to be approved by the Air Name Policy Group.
The Registry will maintain a list of contact persons for each registrant. When a name is requested for registration the corresponding contact points will be advised of the request in order to minimize future dispute problems.
After an initial phase of operation further registrants may be considered if the industry bodies believe that their inclusion is in the best interests of the community.
E18. Describe the application process for potential registrants in the TLD.
Registrants wishing to register names will be registered after the evaluation process. At the same time we will register a set of standard third level names which will be proposed or coordinated allowing the standardization of names in the ".air". The purpose of standard names is to facilitate the communications among industry participants, particularly at the host system level. These names are covered in IATA recommended practice 789 and will be updated through the standard committee working groups.
Where appropriate, the registrants will be required to produce evidence that the name is a legal entity.
For the registrars joining after the initial group of ATC registrars, a set of procedures will be explicitly defined.
E19. Describe the enforcement procedures and mechanisms for ensuring registrants meet the registration requirements.
Registrants already comply with IATA, ICAO, and ACI procedures. The current enforcement process will continue. If registrants do not comply with these requirements they will not be granted a ".air" name.
E20. Describe any appeal process from denial of registration.
The current industry appeals process will continue to apply. Where the issues fall outside those encountered in past airline activity, ICANN procedures will apply (standards procedures for appeal could be submitted to the ANPG).
E21. Describe any procedure that permits third parties to seek cancellation of a TLD registration for failure to comply with restrictions.
The current industry processes for appeal will apply.
IV. CONTEXT OF THE TLD WITHIN THE DNS (Required for all TLDs)
E22. This section is intended to allow you to describe the benefits of the TLD and the reasons why it would benefit the global Internet community or some segment of that community. Issues you might consider addressing include:
The air transport industry was the first to develop computerized systems exchanging real time data for the purpose of reservations, check-in, operations and other applications. By requesting to ICANN the creation of ".air", we intend to create a structured, ordered and predictable domain name space. The ".air" TLD will offer the opportunity to identify all the major partners of the industry in a proactive and controlled manner for the benefit of the entire air transportation community.
This ".air" TLD will impact positively the development of e-business solutions between industry partners. It will also improve the visibility and a clear vision of the air transport industry in cyberspace and access to the information offered by the industry and its customers and partners.
The ATC has developed industry standards to communicate between heterogeneous systems and enable industry-wide data exchanges. The advent of the Internet, IP and the adequate naming standards facilitates the integration of the industry to be carried out on a wider scale and to be extended more easily to its partners, suppliers and customers.
Finally, the potential impact of the proposed domain name deserves the recognition of ICANN as a chartered TLD in order to safeguard its open access by this community.
The failure not to adopt an adequate TLD, ".air", would hamper future global network integration, resulting in unnecessary hurdle systems and high costs for the Air-transportation.
E23. What will distinguish the TLD from existing or other proposed TLDs? How will this distinction be beneficial?
Since the 1950s the airlines have used common protocols and naming conventions to facilitate data communications. These standards are even more valid today, as the volumes of messages and transactions double every 6 or 7 years. The industry has achieved a level of co-operation far in advance of any comparable industry.
The introduction of ".air" will adopt the ATC proven practices, at least for the initial stages. This TLD will permit to distinguish unambiguously the players of the ATC within the Internet communities. The successful usage of ".air" by the worldwide ATC will illustrate the benefits for the Internet of a managed industry sector domain.
E24. What community and/or market will be served or targeted by this TLD? To what extent is that community or market already served by the DNS?
The ATC partners will be the direct beneficiaries of the ".air".
The air transportation industry has been a leader in global telecommunication, the use of real time systems, and applications for the supply chain, sales and distribution, customer management, service delivery, resource management and the normal administrative processes of major multi national corporations.
Although the present DNS offers wide possibilities, it does not provide the ATC with enough room and guidance to develop the services of the future.
The ".air" will assist to fulfill the ATC requirements.
E25. Please describe in detail how your proposal would enable the DNS to meet presently unmet needs.
While the airline industry has embraced Internet based communications, it has not gained all the benefits of having a standard industry naming system. The industry needs to take the best practices from the legacy IT infrastructure and enhance these with the new options the Internet-based technology avails.
This is an industry in which safety and security is paramount. To date this has been achieved via a heavy reliance on the high performance and security of the SITA network. The spread of the Internet technology in an unmanaged manner jeopardizes this security and safety. This industry needs a TLD that it can manage to the same safety and security standards that prevail in the legacy world today.
Dot.Coms do not fully meet present and future air transportation requirements. There are not enough names available today for each company to create a coherent set of names that can preserve the brand image and match the structure of each organization. The Internet requires an enhanced DNS that enables increased capacity, enhances quality of service, and maintains the stability and reliability of the Internet worldwide and "air" will have a role in this.
E26. How would the introduction of the TLD enhance the utility of the DNS for Internet users? For the community served by the TLD?
A well-structured domain name scheme will facilitate interline communications, by helping to easily identify key service addresses. Airline and airport staff, as well as consumers, will be able to rapidly locate any airline's Web site for on-line consultation e.g. reservations, schedules, aircraft, and credit card payments.
The creation and deployment of the ".air" domain will provide greater access to useful and relevant services for the air transportation sector in particular airlines, airports and all other players of this industry sector.
These standards open the opportunity for innovation to automate transactions within the travel industry and to take full advantage of the emerging wap and mobile technologies. It would be beneficial for airport procedures, such as tracing lost luggage, flight reservation, check-in, cancellations, browse related information and access to WAP applications. The ".air" will also allow for increased security when accessing ATC related services and applications by the concerned community.
It is expected that, the ".air" domain name will encourage the deployment of specialized TLDs for other industry sectors.
E27. How would the proposed TLD enhance competition in domain-name registration services, including competition with existing TLD registries?
Some airlines have been unable to obtain their Internet domain names, making it difficult for the public to find them and thus reducing their competitive edge.
The opportunity for airlines to use this new facility to innovate and improve customer service, service recovery, staff productivity, alliance offering and numerous revenue enhancement programs will only be limited by their imagination.
V. VALUE OF PROPOSAL AS A PROOF OF CONCEPT (Required for all TLDs)
E28. Recent experience in the introduction of new TLDs is limited in some respects. The current program of establishing new TLDs is intended to allow evaluation of possible additions and enhancements to the DNS and possible methods of implementing them. Stated differently, the current program is intended to serve as a "proof of concept" for ways in which the DNS might evolve in the longer term. This section of the application is designed to gather information regarding what specific concept(s) could be evaluated if the proposed TLD is introduced, how you propose the evaluation should be done, and what information would be learned that might be instructive in the long-term management of the DNS. Well-considered and articulated responses to this section will be positively viewed in the selection process. Matters you should discuss in this section include:
Our approach is to start with the airlines and airports, for whom there are policies, procedures and naming conventions and a well-established community.
Airlines and airports have a tradition for quality use of the technology and for innovation. This combination will provide an environment within which the proof of the benefits of a ".air" community can be very well tested.
E29. What concepts are likely to be proved/disproved by evaluation of the introduction of this TLD in the manner you propose?
With the introduction of the new TLD the major aspects that will be assessed are the large scale testing of the mapping between the ATC legacy naming conventions and the Internet domain names.
The benefits of naming conventions at the second and third level are already proven. Unfortunately some airlines lost sight of these benefits in the legacy world. The initiation of ".air" will enable the industry to reinstate the naming convention and realize the benefits.
The advent of code sharing, frequent flyer and mega alliances has brought demands for transparent communication that are difficult to obtain in the legacy world while ".air" will not solve all the issues, its existence will certainly help. In addition, in this ATC context we expect a reduced number of ambiguities and disputes.
E30. How do you propose that the results of the introduction should be evaluated? By what criteria should the success or lack of success of the TLD be evaluated?
The proper success of the ".air" TLD need to be measured on the incremental used for related services and application this TLD will help to create in the absence of conflicts much more than by the number of domain names being registered in the next few months.
The ".air" will generate new applications and services and an orderly name space for related businesses.
However, during the first six months period of the initial operation (start up), the number of registrations of second and third level domain and the type of domains registered will need to be carefully monitored.
It is proposed that the results be evaluated through an independent audit conducted six months after the opening of ".air" registration.
This survey will compare the numbers of airlines, airports, and aerospace companies having registered ".air" names to the potential number of names in the air industry sector. At the same time, the quantity of disputes and unresolved disputes will be accounted.
E31. In what way would the results of the evaluation assist in the long-range management of the DNS?
Some adjustments will be performed during this period like increase awareness among the community, increase the number of regional or national registrars, to extend the market to other players that were not included during this period, etc.
The results of the audit will be used for planning the Registry operation, adapting the procedures if deemed necessary, introduce new registrars when appropriate. This will be a trade off between increased competition in registering new entities and the requirements of the air industry for operating in a controlled domain where aspects like safety are concerned.
E32. Are there any reasons other than evaluation of the introduction process that this particular TLD should be included in the initial introduction?
The air transport industry is continuing the development of its telecommunication infrastructure using the benefits of Internet technologies, in order to better serve its customers.
The domain names play a key role in this area, therefore the ".air" TLD will help the industry in managing this telecommunication development in an efficient and orderly manner.
By signing this application through its representative, the Applicant attests that the information contained in this Description of TLD Policies, and all referenced supporting documents, are true and accurate to the best of Applicant's knowledge.
JOHN O. WATSON
Name (please print)
Name of Applicant Entity
September 29, 2000
(c) 2000 The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
All rights reserved.
Updated August 15, 2000