Aero-Domains - more than a web address

Aero-Domains: Domains by the aviation industry for the aviation industry
(PresseBox) ( Koeln, )
The web address provides a case book example of the benefits of using the aero-domain as a means of providing the essential differential among domains.

The National Aircraft Finance Association, NAFA, is a
US-based non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting
the general welfare of individuals and organizations
providing aircraft financing and loans secured by
aircraft; to improve the industry's service to the
public; to work with government agencies to foster a
greater understanding of our member's needs.

The Association provides a case book example of the
benefits of using the aero- domain as a means of
providing the essential differential among domains. The
lottery of who got the name first can be particularly
difficult for associations – which may end up with
initials that identify it clearly within its own sector
of interest, but which may also duplicate the initials
of an organization in a completely different sector.

In pre-Internet days, that did not present a problem.
For example, those involved in financing general
aircraft were unlikely to be involved with a body
involved in "teaching artists the fine art of making
art" or with an association for those involved in
managing fleets of cars, trucks and vans. But unique
means unique within the Internet and all those groups
use the initials "NAFA". So the art group took
(first registered 1994) and the fleet management
association took (first registered 1995),
while the National Aircraft Finance Association took (first registered 1999).

Today type "NAFA" into Google and the first page comes
up with a whole range of organizations using these
initials, as well as those already mentioned. They
include the North American Flyball Association
(, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
(, North American Fur Auctions (,
and the North American Falconers Association

Not surprisingly, NAFA decided to remove itself from
the web noise, focusing its Internet naming policy
exclusively at its core business – the air transport

"Adopting the aero-domains was an obvious choice for
us," according to NAFA Treasurer and Executive Director
Karen Griggs. "There are 83 million domain names
worldwide and 46 percent of those are .com. No wonder
there can be confusion. Our business is specific – it's
of no interest to the vast majority of those using the
Internet. But those who do deal with us need
predictability – and we need security. Adopting
the .aero domain has yielded both. Our members and
stakeholders know where they can find us. And that’s
what counts."

NAFA's membership and associate membership of some 120
companies are all leaders in helping buyers, sellers
and finance companies within the aircraft transaction
process. The organization also provides members with a
forum for both education and the sharing of information
and knowledge – all directed at encouraging the
financing, leasing and insuring of general aviation

In addition to the two aviation events EBACE
( and ABACE (, which have
been branded to .aero for years now, one more
Europe-based aviation event has branded to .aero:
Aeroexpo in Prague -

International Water-Guard Industries Inc (IWG) affirmed
its new focus as an all-aerospace company by launching
a corporate identity based on an immediately memorable
aero-domain: "A re-branding program like
this is a major project, and one which we undertook for
very specific reasons," said IWG President and CEO
David Fox. "Chief among them was the fact that IWG had
been through a dramatic renewal process. We are now
solely focused on the aerospace market, we have
continued to develop our highly skilled aerospace team,
and we are presenting our technology to airlines, as
well as corporate and VIP aviation. We worked very
carefully with our designers to choose a corporate
image that expressed those changes, and are confident
in the results".

International Water-Guard Industries Inc (IWG) is a
Canadian aerospace company focusing on aircraft potable
water treatment and full water system solutions. The
company claims "expertise in all aspects of water
treatment, with the products and know-how to provide
high quality water for passengers and crew, and light
weight, space saving solutions for the aircraft

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) also
recognized the importance of a clearer identification
with the air transport community. The previous domain
name ( was not
available:it's the National Athletic Trainer's
Association) was replaced by the more logical

The makeover was part of a strategic move to create a
more user-friendly homepage and some sections that are
password-protected and accessible only by NATA members.

The new Website with the aero-domain includes an
expanded Press Room with biographies and pictures of
key NATA staff, a NATA fact sheet, statistical
information on the industry and archived press
releases. A Members Center includes membership
application, member directory and list of NATA member

"There are literally thousands of business
organizations based around Washington DC," commented
NATA's Communications Director Dan Kidder. "We needed
to ensure that both our website and our domain name
were providing the clearest possible signposting for
members and, in particular, for visitors such as
members of Congress and the media. By adopting the air
transport community's own exclusive domain, we made it
absolutely clear that if someone is interested in
aviation, NATA is a prime stop to make."

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA),
based close to Ronald Reagan Washington National
Airport in the US, is a public policy group
representing the interests of general aviation
businesses before the US Congress, federal agencies and
state governments. Its 2,000 members own, operate and
service aircraft.

Srilankan Airline has painted its aero-domain on their
aircrafts. SriLankan Airlines' corporate website has
changed from to
However, users would be able to log in to the address for at least the next 12
months, until the identity becomes
well established.

SriLankan will be among many thousands which have
registered an aero-domain, including airlines, aviation
industry news services, engineering and maintenance
firms and service organisation.

"We have taken the initiative to migrate to .aero from
the present country specific .lk in order to take
advantage of the new global airline domain and to
better reflect our status as an international company,"
said Nigel O'Shea, Head of IT at SriLankan Airlines.

All present e-mail addresses at SriLankan Airlines have
also had .lk replaced with .aero, but could still be
reached through .lk for the next 12 months. "The
aero-domain will provide a unique identity for
airlines, differentiating from other Internet domain
extensions such as .com (commercial), .net (network),
or country specific domain such as .lk, .sg and .uk,"
said Kamal Nanayakkara, SriLankan's Senior Manager
Network & Communication.

The aero.domain has been reserved worldwide for
participants of the aviation industry, including
airlines, aircraft manufacturers, and airline industry
persons. The aero-domain is expected to make it easier
for Internet users to find aviation-related websites on
the Internet.

SriLankan Airlines IT Division formed a project team
which planned, executed and tested the migration to the
new domain over the last four months, reworking the
airline's massive IT network.

Hans-Peter Oswald
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