In a world where air travel has become as commonplace for some as taking the bus or the train, fear of flying represents a fascinating paradox. While research shows that between 20 and 40 percent of the adults in the Western world experience some level of anxiety regarding air travel.

The VALK Foundation is a collaborative venture by the University of Leiden, KLM and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol,, Martinair and ArkeFly. The foundation was set up in 1989, and is devoted to treating fear of flying on the basis of many years of scientific research.

Founder and Director of the VALK Foundation, Dr. Lucas van Gerwen, is a European registered aviation psychologist, clinical psychologist and a professional pilot. He has worked in this field for more than twenty years, wrote several books on the topic of fear of flying and has published numerous papers in international scientific journals on the assessment and treatment of this common problem. In 2004 he received his Phd on Fear of Flying (University of Leiden).

Afraid of Flying? Finally there's an App for That

NEW YORK—June, 2012— A new tool is now available to help the millions of people who are afraid to fly. At JFK International Airport New York, the VALK Foundation, launched the first scientifically-developed, web-based treatment for people who suffer from mild to moderate fear of flying. Already in use in Europe, the 'Flight App VALK' a mobile tool for iPhone, iPad, and Android users will be available for the first time in English.

The 'Flight App VALK' was developed as a result of 23 years of scientific research and treatments by the Dutch VALK Foundation.

Panic button
The Flight App is designed to help relax passengers before and during flights. It informs users about aerodynamics, flight safety and turbulence, sounds and sensations during departure, flight and landing. Practical audio exercises help lower flight stress. When the passenger's flight stress reaches a panic level, users of the application can access the special panic button, which provides audio and written aid to decrease the stress level immediately. The Flight App can be used during the flight in the airplane mode. Once downloaded, the program does not require internet connection in the air.

Flight App VALK
Download the Flight App VALK at the iTunes store (for iPhone) and at Google Play (for Android)

KLM Universiteit van Leiden Schiphol Transavia Arkefly Martinair

VALK Foundation: in good hands

Dr. L.J. van Gerwen, Clinical psychologist and Pilot





Ans Vos





Mr. P. Berkhout, Former director of Shell Germany.






Mr. H. Kreulen, , President KLM Netherlands

Prof. mr. dr. P.F. van der Heijden, Rector Magnificus and Chairman of the board of the Leiden University
Prof. Dr. Ph Spinhoven, Professor of Clinical and Health psychology of the Leiden University
Mr. J. Laeven, Area Controller KLM Western Europe
Mrs. B. Otto, Director Airport Operations Schiphol Group


B. Gräber, President
S. van der Heijden, President ArkeFly and Tui Nederland