Airspaces

Airspaces are relevant in paragliding for determining where it is allowed and safe to fly. It is important that you have a clear understanding of airspaces, airspace structure, classes and sectors and their implications for your region interest. Your primary flight planning should be done with official and up to date ICAO cards of the region you choose for paragliding and make sure you are not missing any airspaces. While you should not do the primary flight planning or navigation using your vario and installed airspaces files, it will ease things once you are up in the air. You can easily add airspaces to the vario by importing airspaces in the openaip format.

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exemplary airspace classes, sectors and zones in a part of brazil

Importing Airspaces

Simply start your smartphone variometer, open the Airspaces menu and import airspaces by by hitting the round '+ .AIP' button:

  • downloading directly (cloud icon)

  • importing files* from any location (file icon)

This 'any location' can be a directory on your smartphone's external memory or from Google Drive or any other provider.

Upon importing you will see the imported airspaces appear dynamically in the list below the google map as they are being processed.

The XC Vario supports openaip airspaces that you can get here .

*Files are named openaip_airspace_country_countrycode. Thus the corresponding airspace file

  • for italy would be openaip_airspace_italy_it

  • for spain would be openaip_airspace_spain_es

Note: When importing manually from files, make sure you select the correct files.

Exploring Airspaces

Once imported you can start exploring the airspaces. There will be two views:

The starting view and detail level is an aggregated country view with the number of imported airspaces and the timestamp they were imported. Tap onto this aggregated view to get to the detailed view of airspaces for a given country.

The detailed view for a given country displays

  • the airspace name,

  • airspace class,

  • altitudes that are relevant

together with the units and references e. g. GND, MSL, FL etc. . You will also see the ground elevation together with the latitude and longitude for the map center.

Tap onto an airspace:

  • in the list to have the map moved.

  • in the map to have it marked and be able to activate / deactivated.

Note: Reimport airspaces from time to time to check whether changes and/or additions have been made. In this case a second aggregated view exists with a new timestamp so you can decide which version to keep. Long click on a country item enables you to delete the airspaces for that country.

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airspaces aggregated and detailed by country

Activating Airspace Alerting

For airspaces you can set a horizontal and vertical alerting distance ranging from 750m to 1750m horizontally and 200m to 500m vertically. Flying vertically or horizontally closer to airspaces, a visual alert will be shown for a few seconds. Information displayed will include the

  • distance to airspace

  • airspace class,

  • airspace name,

  • airspace upper and lower level.

If Warning Sound And Message is enabled, a warning sound and spoken message will be triggered upon reaching the vertical and/or horizontal alerting distance. This can be useful if you cannot check the display.

On top of horizontal and vertical distances you can also select the lowest flight level to consider during flight. A flight level FL100 as an example stands for 100 x 100 feet = 10000 feet which equals roughly 3000m with a reference to a standard mean sea level pressure of 1013.25hPa used in the calculation of altitude.

flight level and distances for alerting airspaces

Airspace Classifications, Coloring and Labeling

The coloring and line types and widths of airspace classes, sectors, zones and restrictions are reproduced as close as possible to ICAO guidelines and recommendations. Currently the following distinctions regarding the visualization are being made:

Airspace Structure

Airspace Class A: is visualized with a thin red outer line and a wide transparent inner band of the same color.

Airspace Class B, C and D: are visualized alike class A but with a thin blue outer line and a wide transparent inner band of the same color.

Airspace Class E, F and G: come with the same blue outer line as B, C and D but lack the wide inner band. For E the outer line is a bit wider.

Control Zone (CTR): airspace control zones (CTR) will be displayed as an area with a blue dashed outer line and a transparent red shading covering the whole CTR.

Radio Mandatory zone (RMZ): airspace radio mandatory zones (RMZ) are visualized with an area with a blue dashed outer line and a transparent blue shading covering the whole RMZ.

Transponder Mandatory zone (TMZ): airspace transponder mandatory zones (TMZ) are depicted using a thick dashed black line with alternating line segment length.

Airspace Restrictions

RESTRICTED and DANGER: restricted, danger or prohibited areas are being visualized with a thin outer red line and a wide red hatched inner band.

Airspace Labeling

Currently no explicit tags are added to the airspaces visualized on the map. Information regarding lower/upper levels and frequencies are show in the airspace info box.

Control Zone (CTR) in horizontal distance starting at ground level (GND) and reaching up to 2200 feet mean sea level (MSL) visualized in airspace info box

vertical airspace view including ground elevation in terrain mode for the Monte Grappa region

vertical airspace view including ground elevation in dark mode for the Monte Grappa region

restricted airspace starting at ground level (GND) up to an altitude of 3000 feet

Activating And Deactivating Airspaces

Being alerted of an airspace during flight should not surprise you since you prepare your flight beforehand :-)! You can check all airspaces on your planned route or your area of flying on the map before take off. Simply touch the airspace to individually activate or deactivate.

By default all airspaces are activated! This might make for quite some alerts visual and audio depending on your preferences if you don't check the airspaces before flight. Deactivating an airspace all audible and visual alerting will be turned off.

Check in the airspaces dialog:

  • which airspaces classes are relevant and set active

  • which individual airspace is activated / deactivated

Check in the settings:

  • which flight levels are relevant

  • the vertical minimum distance to the airspace

  • the horizontal minimum distance the airspace