CEO of Regtime is Sergey Sharikov, a former aerospace engineer and designer at the prestigious Samara State Aerospace University. He was the founder and chair of the Russian Language Working Group of the Multilingual Internet Names Consortium (MINC) - a non-governmental, international organization focused on the development of truly multilingual Internet domain names and keywords, the internationalization of Internet names, standards and protocols, technical coordination and liaison with other international bodies.
Q: You were registering .aero domains as a reseller long before you became an authorized registrar. You also translated the registration part of the .aero website into Russian on your own initiative and were the first registrar to offer .aero domains in your own language. Why did you take these initiatives?
A: Regtime Ltd started in 2001 as a full Cyrillic domain names registrar. That was long before IDN standards* came on the scene. We created the domains portal webnames.ru in January 2002 and launched registration of second level domains of gTLD and ccTLD for Russian customers.
When we heard about the .aero domain, we decided to become the first in Russia to register aviation domains for two reasons:
• Russia has been an aviation pioneer since the earliest days of flight. We have a mature aviation industry and science base, which has been responsible for developing a wide range of highly successful aircraft, engines and other aviation and space technologies.
• my first career was as an aviation engineer-designer. I worked for 16 years in an aviation design office, designing fuel units and pneumatic systems for all of the leading Russian aviation companies.
Q: You decided to become an authorized registrar only in December 2007. What led you to this decision?
A: In March, 2007 we became an official ICANN accredited registrar. We immediately began the process of accreditation with SITA in order to become registrars of the .aero domain. It was natural to us to make our position as a .aero registrant one of "highlights" of our company and of our website www.webnames.ru.
Q: We noticed that you offer .aero registrations through a dedicated banner link, separately from the list of other TLDs. Have you found that dealing with the .aero domain has involved complexities that you have not faced with other domains?
A: The .aero domain - is inherently unique. It is the only professional domain focused on the aviation industry and is completely protected from the negative risks found in the secondary market, including cybersquatting. Quite the opposite. The .aero domain is a highly reliable domain - reflecting the aviation industry itself, where reliability is always the key requirement. For this reason, we put .aero registration in its own block, separated from casual buyers.
Q: You are the only Russian registrar for .aero and as such you represent a huge market with great potential. As you have told us, you are an experienced aerospace engineer so you will have a clear understanding of the aviation community. What are your thoughts on this, as well as your plans and vision for introducing .aero to the Russian market?
A: During my work in the aviation industry, I have had contact with a great many aviation professionals at all levels, from government ministers to recreational parachutists. Despite huge progress in many areas of the industry, the aviation community in Russia has still not realized the value and side-benefits that can be enjoyed not just from a website, but a website in the .aero domain. That's why our immediate plans for the future include establishing direct contacts with representatives of the Russian aviation industry, with participation in air shows and other actions.
The biggest issue we face in the marketplace is educating users about .aero. Once potential clients understand the reliability and the power of branding their company with a .aero identity, we find customers are happy with their experience.
Q: Based on your experience, what do you consider the most important issues concerning the development and the future of the .aero domain? How do you see the role of Regtime within that?
A: We want to see more .aero domain registrants and we welcome the work SITA is doing to promote the .aero domain. For us it would be very helpful for Russian aviation enterprises to receive information on our company directly from SITA. Everything that we must do, we are already doing!
* An IDN (internationalized domain name) is an Internet domain name that (potentially) contains non-ASCII characters. However, the standard for domain names does not allow such characters, and much work has gone into finding a way to internationalize domain names into a standard ASCII format, thereby preserving the stability of the domain name system (www.wikipedia.org).