29th September, 2000
Executive Summary and Conclusions

Object of the proposal

SITA (Société Internationale de Télécomunications Aéronautiques SC) is pleased to submit to ICANN a proposal for a sponsored new TLD called ".air". The purpose of defining the ".air" TLD, is to ensure that the advantages derived from the development of the Internet be fully exploited by Air Transport for the benefit of its customers and to ensure that the efficiency and safety of air travel be continuously improved.

There are major potential benefits resulting from the creation of the proposed new TLD that will be discussed below.

SITA believes it has the necessary qualifications to sponsor the ".air" TLD since it is an Air Transport owned and controlled organization with over 50 years experience and worldwide presence. SITA is owned and serves over 725 members that belong to every sector of air transport: airlines, airports, air freight, computerized reservation systems, aircraft manufacturing, air traffic control, civil aviation, airport services and other air transport related companies and organizations.

SITA provides IT solutions and Telecommunication services on a worldwide basis covering a variety of air transport applications. It has implemented the largest data network in the world which provides IP connectivity to air transport throughout the world.

The company is a cooperative non-profit organization fully owned by its members and providing services to the air transport community according to their needs and priorities as defined by plans and budgets that are decided by the community.

The air transport constituency that owns SITA and makes use of its services in the field of IT and telecommunications is large not only in terms of the sectors covered but also geographically since it covers literally every country in the world.

In submitting the proposal for the new ".air" TLD, SITA serves the interests of the air transport industry as a whole in a neutral and balanced manner taking into full account the respective interests of the various sectors of this industry.

The proposal for the new TLD includes also the creation of two other equivalent TLDs which will be mirrors of ".air" and that may be used for linguistic reasons as full equivalents of ".air": ".aer" and ".aero". In the rest of the proposal whenever ".air" is mentioned it should be understood that the two other equivalent TLDs are also included.

Benefits to be derived by implementing the « .air » TLD

The ultimate benefits that are going to be derived by the creation of the new ".air" TLD can be summarized by the improved efficiency and safety of air transport and thus a better service for its customers.

The ".air" TLD would in fact allow the definition of a coherent and structured domain name architecture throughout the air transport industry, under its full control This development will first of all impact positively the business relationship among the various industry sectors by facilitating the development of B2B e-business solutions and integration of IT systems between industry partners. It will also improve the visibility of the air transport industry in cyberspace and facilitate B2C e-business and access to the information offered by the industry and its customers and partners.

A coherent, predictable domain name structure will in fact result in reliable inventories of structured industry name information thus enhancing security and efficiency in developing inter-industry applications so vital in delivering a seamless service to the end customer.

The air transport industry is accustomed to work in close co-operation in the field of IT. The airlineswere the first companies in the world to develop computerized systems that exchanging real time data for the purpose of reservations, check-in, flight and ground operations and other applications. For this to take place effectively they developed industry standards to communicate between heterogeneous systems and enable industry-wide data exchanges.

The advent of the Internet and of IP standards enables 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. The ".air" TLD will offer the opportunity to identify all the major components of the industry in a proactive and controlled manner for the benefit of all.

Sponsoring organization Proposal

As an organization representing the wide interests of the Air Transport industry, SITA proposes to act as the sponsoring organization for the ".air" TLD.

SITA is an organization with over 6000 employees and operates in over 220 countries and territories. SITA believes that it has a proven record (over 50 years) of acting in the interest of the industry and of all its components in the field of IT and telecommunications.

Its company structure is designed to ensure that it will operate in a neutral manner in the interest of all its members. It is controlled by a Board of Directors composed of 30 members (composed of CIOs or other senior executives of the major airlines and other air transport related companies).

Several specialized committees composed of experts from the membership provide recommendations on services development, technical and financial matters to the SITA board of Directors. The Board nominates the Director General of SITA and decides on the strategy of the company. It approves the annual budget and plans.

In addition to the experience in running the world’s largest data network for several decades (in operation since 1969), SITA also has gained a wide expertise in helping migrate the industry to IP on a world-wide basis and is highly motivated to facilitate the adoption of Internet-based technologies throughout the industry including the most remote areas of the world

SITA recognizes that, although directly represented within SITA by its members, some sectors of Air Transport have representative organizations that serve the interests of their members in a wide range of domains in addition to IT and telecommunications, and that therefore it is necessary that such representative organizations be directly involved in establishing the policy concerning the definitionand allocation of domain names using the ".air" TLD.

For this purpose SITA is proposing to create an Air Name Policy Group (ANPG) that will comprise representatives of the major air transport industry bodies and organizations with the task of defining the ".air" policy and monitoring its application. SITA is in particular soliciting the support of ICAO,

IATA and ACI to take an active role in the ANPG. The participation to the ANPG will also be extended to other bodies that are representative of other major sectors of the industry.

The ANPG will be assisted in its task by groups of experts both from the Air Transport and the Internet industries.

Registry Operator Proposal

SITA plans to contract for the operation of the Registry with SITA Information Networking Computing BV (SITA INC) a wholly owned subsidiary. The contract between SITA and SITA INC will be for a duration of 3 years after which the Registry operator function will be open to tender.

SITA INC was created on 1st January 2000 and is intended to develop innovative new solutions for air transport in the areas of e-Business, integrated IT infrastructures including LAN, WAN and desktop, IT outsourcing and Value Added Services.

SITA INC benefits of the expertise and manpower resources of SITA SC. These resources will be transferred to SITA INC progressively on a project basis.

SITA has significant expertise in the field of DNS services and handles more than 7 million DNS queries per day providing 24x7 support to its customers. All the necessary competencies required for a registry operation are currently available.

The registry operation will be implemented as add-on to existing services thus minimizing financial exposure.

The expected number of domain names to be registered during the first 5 years of operation varies between 100,000 and 300,000.

The naming structure will be defined to cater for a variety or requirements, including branding, serviceapplications, flight and plane identification, location and device identification, etc.

The appointment of SITA INC BV as the Registry operators will enable the new ".air" TLD to be implemented in the shortest possible time and with the lowest technical risk.

Description of TLD policies

The air transport industry has developed over a period of several decades a coherent set of naming policies and procedures to identify the companies and functions within the industry. The purpose for this industry approach is to enable the various components of the industry to work together in delivering a service that is seen as seamless by the passenger or the air freight customer.

Co-operation by the industry in setting standards in the field of IT and telecommunications has always been very close and has contributed to safe and regular air transport.

The creation of the ".air" TLD will enable to extend the air transport naming conventions to the Internet and IP area, thus allowing the new Internet technologies to be readily adopted and on a much wider scale.

The ".air" TLD will be a restricted TLD that will be allocated only to those organizations that will comply with the necessary prerequisites, namely to belong to the air transport industry by having their main activity related to air transport.

Specific policies to authorize the use of ".air" and the naming structure will be implemented in order for the corresponding domain name space to be collectively and efficiently managed in the interest of the community.

Concluding remarks

A positive decision in favour of the ".air" TLD will accelerate the adoption of Internet-derived technologies and business practices throughout the air transport industry.

This will improve the efficiency of air transport through reduced costs of operation, better integration of IT systems within the industry and improved information to customers. The ultimate outcome will be a better service to the customers of air transport and safer skies.

The collective management, by the air transport industry, of the new domain space thus created will contribute to the stable growth of the Internet and in spreading its benefits worldwide.

This initiative is taking place at a time when the industry is deciding how best take advantage of the New Economy, while preserving the integrated, seamless service it provides worldwide.

Responsible for the ".air" TLD proposal is:

Rosa M. Delgado
Director, Internet Industry Relations

Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques
26, Chemin de Joinville,
PO Box 31
1216 Geneva

Tel: (+41 22) 747 6266
Fax: (+41 22) 747 6201