When it comes to creating a domain name and carving out a unique space online, you have more options than simply putting your aerospace company name in front of a domain extension like “.COM.” Your domain name is your first impression on the internet, and you want to make it count. Luckily, there are four simple letters can set your aerospace website apart from the rest: .AERO.
.AERO is an exclusive domain extension reserved for members of the aerospace industry such as pilots, airports, plane-spotters, aerospace and airplane manufacturers, businesses and enthusiasts. When using a unique industry-specific extension, internet users are able to immediately identify the scope of your business with a simple glance.
There are over 350 billion domain names on the internet, and many use generic domains like “.COM,” “.NET,” and “.ORG.” These common domains often have no requirements and are widely-available to the general public. A .AERO domain, however, is reserved only for verified members of the aerospace industry who meet a specific set of qualifications, and can only be purchased through SITA-approved registrars, such as 101domain.
Registrants are screened to ensure that they are valid members of the aviation community in order to maintain the integrity and credibility of all .AERO domain names, and are not granted the domain unless they are verifiable members of the aviation or aeronautics community. With the migration of many industry specific sites to the .AERO extension, the aviation field is taking a huge step forward in keeping it’s community safe and protected from scammers looking to deceive well-meaning but under-informed customers who fall prey to common phishing scams that rely on the public’s general trust of the .COM extension.
To register a .AERO domain, you first need to be verified as an eligible member of the aviation community. All registrants are grouped according to similar aerospace characteristics representing aviation industry segments such as air sports and recreational aviation, business aircraft operators, or pilots. You may be required to provide further eligibility data such as your website, company documents, or pilot license.
While popular search engines like Google say there are no definitive advantages to having a .AERO domain over generic domain like like “.com,” “.net,” or “.org.,”(at least from an SEO standpoint) a .AERO domain comes with instant credibility. Because of the strict domain policies, internet users can rest assured that any .AERO website they visit is a credible aviation resource, which can absolutely be the difference between a client choosing your site over a competitor’s.
One of the requirements mandated to get a .AERO domain is name formatting. To certify your domain name it must:
- Be between 3 characters and 63 characters long, with the exception of airline code (e.g. XXX.AERO or YOURNAME.AERO)
- Be a sub-domain should be between 2 characters and 63 characters long (e.g. CC.CAA.AERO)
- Not contain a hyphen on the 3rd and 4th character (e.g. XX–AA.AERO)
- Be comprised of only letters (a-z), numbers (0-9) and hyphens
- Begin and end with a letter or number, not a hyphen.
- Not be a name corresponding to a country codes, country name or geographical area cannot
There are a few other special rules for naming:
- Airport codes: all 3-character location identifier codes are reserved only for airports. All names are pre-approved but registration does follow a special procedure.
- Airline codes: all 2-character airline designators are reserved only for airlines. All names are pre-approved but registration does follow a special procedure.
- Flight numbers: only airlines and airports can register a flight number as a domain name.
There are specific registration and transfer rules for flight numbers.
- Route Codes: only airports can register a flight number as a domain name. There are specific registration and transfer rules for flight numbers.
- Special Industry Names: special industry names can be given out to any member of the aerospace community by the .AERO sponsor, SITA, after a meeting with Dot Aero Council. The special industry domain name must be used for the best benefit of the aerospace community.
- Subdomains: every registrant group is given one or more subdomains with each registered domain name. You must be a member of the group to register one of the subdomain names. Each registrant group has specific rules for subdomain names.
Each rule of the .AERO domain naming serves to create names that benefit your customers. A properly structured .AERO domain name also increases your marketing ability online. Think of your domain name and extension as a ten digit phone number. The area code is the domain, and the seven digit number is your domain name. While the seven digit number may be easy to identify and somewhat unique to each caller, the area code lets users know exactly where the call is coming from. Similarly, the .AERO domain lets internet users know exactly what industry your business is a part of and your domain name lets internet users know who you are.
Someone searching the internet for information on the aerospace industry is more likely to click on a link with a related domain extension than with a generic one (and an increase in clickthrough rate can help your SEO — read more on that here). The .AERO domain is an industry identifier and quickly attracts the internet users who are looking for you and the internet users you are looking for. The .AERO domain allows internet users to know with a quick glance that your website can offer the aerospace information they are looking for. Your website, after all, is not for you; it’s for your customers.
The .AERO domain extends beyond an internet search too. When your company makes the switch, you can use it for your email addresses as well. This is particularly helpful for businesses that rely on cold emails to drive new customers and web traffic as the .AERO domain extension adds a level of credibility and clarity to your emails.
When it comes to support and monitoring from a larger entity, .AERO delivers. Each aerospace company that uses the industry specific domain becomes protected by and represented in The Dot Aero Council (DAC). The DAC provides the aerospaced community with a forum for productive exchanges of information.
Members of the DAC are picked from international aerospace associations to represent each registrant group. DAC members help the development of the domain extension by recommending new rules and methods of determining the eligibility of aerospace registrants, domain standards and security, maintenance and general update. Most significant to you, DAC members monitor domain naming and the .AERO domain name rules within the registrant group they represent. Since every registrant group is represented, the DAC is able to ensure the future development of the .AERO domain meets the ever-growing needs of the entire online aerospace community.
By using the .AERO domain, you are establishing your place on the internet as a verified member of the aerospace community and benefitting from the use of an industry specific internet domain whose integrity is valued and fiercely protected. The rigorous registration policies and verification processes ensure that .AERO names are given only to genuine members of the aerospace community in an effort to help internet users immediately identify your aerospace company as credible, trustworthy, and exactly what they need.