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A city's Air defenses are how it defends from flying units. These include archery units in the garrison and outer walls, allied flying units in the city's airspace, and spells stored in the city's tower.
Towers can have air spells placed in them one of two ways. Either a caster can come in and "dump their juice" into it in a few minutes, or they can very carefully lay the spells down consciously.  Doing this reduces the penalties casters who are not Shockamancers have when manning a tower's defenses. Air defense spells themselves are also a type of Shockamancy.
Air defense spells in a tower are stronger when cast by a Shockamancer, and they are particularly good at laying them. The biggest weakness for cities focusing on air defense is they can be left vulnerable to ground assault.