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.

Importing Airspaces

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

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

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

Downloading Airspaces

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

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:

Note: Reimport airspaces from time to time to check whether changes and/or additions have been made.

Exploring Airspaces

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

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.

 Airspace Alerting

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. 

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:

Check in the settings:

Further Reading

Free Worldwide Aviation Database - current and precise worldwide aeronautical data 

Swiss Air Navigation Obstacle Data - an obstacle database for switzerland