Kössen's topography lends itself to air sports in the summer months. The surrounding mountain massifs create great thermals, which are near-perfect for hang gliding and paragliding flights, whilst the valley-floor makes safe landing-grounds, as it is broad, flat and mostly meadow-land; furthermore, the winter ski-lifts allow equal access to the summits in their off-season, for the new market of air-sports adventurers.
In hang-gliding, Kössen was the inaugural location for both the World Championships, in 1976, and the European Championships, in 1977. The championships were soon coordinated to be run on alternate years, with a European venue on 'even' years and a global venue on 'odd' years. A new venue is chosen each year for both competitions, but it is a mark of the popularity of Kössen as an air-sports venue, that it is the sole centre, to date, that has been used as a return-venue for each competition, in 1980 and in 1985. Para-gliding is also well-established on the Unterberg.