IT affects 12m people throughout the UK.
And many are so badly affected by a fear of flying - often called aerophobia - that they avoid holidays and jobs which involve long- distance travel.
But a new experiment has brought help to one group of sufferers, including a top official from Huddersfield University. Nigel Phillips, the university's senior executive officer, admits he has been terrified of flying all his life.
But this week he boarded a plane at Manchester Airport for a 25-mile round trip to the Isle of Man and admitted: "Much of the fear had gone."
Mr Phillips, who has worked in Huddersfield for 12 months, spent several hours with Virgin Atlantic pilots and cabin staff, then had a session with a psychologist before boarding the plane with 100 other sufferers.
The results will be screened by the BBC in a documentary series early next year.
Mr Phillips said: "It is a real fear that creates a lot of tension. I have flown, but it has not been pleasurable. But the flight to the Isle of Man was significantly better and a lot of the fear and tensions had gone."
BBC crews were in Huddersfield to film Mr Phillips at work - and on top of the highest building on the campus.