Air space and airport data in the Aviator
The Aviator application supports several types of air space definition data formats. Each of the formats has some specifics. This page describes in detail all data formats and the way how to load them into the application.
The Aviator supports 3 main formats of the air space or airport information:
AIXM and OFMX
The AIXM is a complex and information rich XML based data format. It contains all relevant information for the air spaces as well as detailed airport information in a single data file. Data files are usually quite big and parsing the information is non trivial. The Aviator supports version 4.5 of the AIXM format which is currently widely used.
The OFMX is just slightly modified variant / extension of the AIXM format and basicly holds the same information as the AIXM.
The application can parse both formats.
The openAIP is another XML based data format for aeronautical information. The data are provided in 3 different files for a) air space definition, b) airport definitions and c) navaids. The Aviator can parse the first 2. So if you want to have both – the air space data as well as the airport information you have to download 2 different files and load them into the application one after another (in any order).
The openAIP is also quite complex format for all the types of aeronautical data however there are some missing attributes. For example it’s not possible to distinguish between the permanent and temporary areas (like restricted vs. temporary restricted areas) and so the Air space setup option in the menu won’t show you (most likely) any temporary air space for de/activation (unlike the AIXM/OFMX formats).
The Openair is a older simple text based format for basic air space definition. It has limited possibilities however it’s good enough to provide the basic information about the air space. Although the format says the area class it doesn’t specify clearly area type (restricted, danger…) so the type can only be understood from the area name. Unfortunately this data format doesn’t support airport information.
The Openair format is supported also in the free version of the application.
The Aviator doesn’t contain any source of guarantied aeronautical data. There doesn’t exist a reliable free (or even cheap) source for the whole world.
On the other side there exist various organizations and activities which provide a good level of quality aeronatical data which can be downloaded into the application and used. I’ll present 2 most relevant ones.
The open flightmaps (OFM) project is a database of aeronatical information administered by the open flightmaps association. They are basicly a group of volunteers who manage data for particular regions / FIRs / countries. There is a list of more than 20 mainly Europien countries maintained by the community. There are regular updates being made very often and they publish the data in the same frequency as official AIRAC data. However they are able to do a quick fix if you find and report and inconsistency with the real / official situation.
They were publishing the data in multiple formts including the AIXM format which they’ve recently changed to their own OFMX format which have the same structure as the AIXM but with some small modifications / improvements. However there is no visible difference between the 2 formats in the application.
Another supported format is the Openair which you can download from this site as well.
I see the OFM as high quality source of the aeronautical data for Aviator.
Download data files
You don’t need to register on the website and you can freely download the data files for each country they cover. Just choose the requested region in the top Regions menu and scroll down below the region map to the (for download) section. You are looking for the 3rd set of square boxes (Data) and for the box named either OFMX or Openair. When you click on it a Download button is shown and you can download the data file to your device. Don’t be confused by different (own) language used for each country page.
You will download a ZIP file which contains the data for the Aviator application. The ZIP file has always the same structure and you need to extract the right file which can then be read and paresd by the Aviator.
The OFMX data file structure is always as follows:
/ofmx_xy /embedded ofmx_xy_ofmShapeExtension.xml ofmx_xy /isolated ofmx_xy_ofmShapeExtension.xml ofmx_xy readme.pdf amendments.pdf
The Openair data file structure is always as follows:
/openair_xy /embedded xyzz.winpilot.openair.txt xyzz.desktop.strepla.openair.txt xyzz.seeyou.openair.txt
The xy (xyzz) is to be replaced by the respective FIR two (four) characters code – eg: lk (lkaa) for the LKAA FIR of the Czech Republic.
Please always extract the /ofmx_xy/isolated/ofmx_xy file make it available in the phone for loading into the Application. You can download it to your desktop computer / notebook, unzip and copy (via USB, Bluetooth, or any supported cloud storage applications).
The openAIP is another database of the aeronatutical data. They provide the data for much more regions than the OFM. The data are of a bit worse quality – as mentioned above the areas can’t be defined as temporary or permanent. Also the openAIP data format covers both the air spaces definitions and airport definitions. However the information is provided in 2 separate files for each region.
In order to download any file you need first to register on the website. However the registration is free, you don’t need to pay anything. It will allow you to modify the air space and/or airport and/or navaid data edit on your own. So if you find a discrepancy in the data you can fix them on your own.
When you are logged in just go to the menu Downloads where you get by default definition files for your home country. The page is always split into 5 sections. You need to care just the first 2 of them: the Airport Files and Airspace Files. The sections then contain one to three files for download.
Always download the .aip data files (and ignore the .dat and .cup files). The downloaded files can be parsed directly by the application.
You need to load separately each of the 2 (airports definition file and airspace definition file) in the Aviator.
Generally you can download the airspace file from any other source. There are some other activities or organizations which provide aeronautical data in various formats for various regions. If you don’t find your region in one of the above sources ask the uncle Google who will hopefully help you.
How to load the data into the Aviator
So finally here you will find out what to do to import/download/setup the aeronautical data into the Aviator application.
Note: Successful loading a new data file overwrites any previous data file. There can only be one region data file loaded in the application at a time. On the other side the openAIP data are provided in separate files. Loading air space definition in the openAIP format overwrites just the air spaces (doesn’t touch the airports if there were any loaded previously) and loading the airports definition in the openAIP format overwrites just the airports (doesn’t touch the air space definitions if they were loaded previously).
OFMX data from the OFM web site
This option represents the easiest way of loading the airspace and airport information into the application. Just go to the menu, select Air space and then Download the OFM data file. You’ll see a list of all supported regions and a download button on the right side of each regions. Just tap the icon at the row /region of your choise… and voila… the airpsace and airports are loaded. When you return back to the main screen you’ll see all them…
Other sources and formats
The way for other formats and/or sources is a little bit more complicated. You have to download the datafile on your own into the device (phone, tablet) and then load it from wihin the application.
The easiest way is simply to open web browser on your device go to the web site where you can download the file into the device. It will be most likely downloaded into the Download folder either on the device or on the memory card (if you have any, based on your browser configuration).
Then open the Aviator application, fo to the menu, choose Air space and than choose the respective option to Read the <XXX> file.
Then just get back to the main screen and the data will be there.
Note: when uding the openAIP format you have to download separately two files – the air space definition file and the aiports definition file and read both of them in the application.