Anyone not entirely comfortable with air travel will experience anything from slight anxiety to abject terror when contemplating a flight.
One reason for that fear seems to be that, whatever the statistics tell us about how safe flying is, we are not in control.
It sometimes seems that there is nothing we can do about the loops of red tape that threaten to strangle us.
Some legislation we cannot stop; the need is to ensure that the burden is as light as possible. Some laws have the inevitability of the Nitrates regulations, which the Government had to introduce to avoid legal action and probably huge fines.
Sometimes the best we can do is delay the inevitable to give members valuable time for preparation. The new regulations on agricultural waste are inevitable, though we need to work very hard to minimise the impact.
More than 40 years ago the NFU published its first code of practice on straw burning, and amended it several times over the years in response to new and greater concerns. Ultimately the pressure for a ban became overwhelming.
Other codes of practice, such as the NFU's on bird scarers, have served the industry well, and satisfactory compliance has lessened the pressure for strict controls or worse.
A modern example, and very much a current one, is the Voluntary Initiative (VI) on pesticides: farmers and growers tackling a problem head on and in the process fending off demands for tighter laws and potentially swingeing taxes. But, like other such initiatives, it will only work if enough people take part and do their bit.
On the face of it, Thames Water's request to the Pesticides Safety Directorate to ban isoproturon (IPU) is a 'plunging plane' scenario: a company based outside the region lobbying a Government body for a measure that would affect farmers throughout the country.
But Thames Water will take a close interest in what happens in the Leam catchment, one of two VI pilot areas in the West Midlands, and use difficulties there to bolster its case.
Thus we are not entirely helpless: there are things we can do to control our own destiny, and not just in that catchment. We need to make the VI work everywhere. If IPU were banned, what next?
The Government said in its pre-Budget report that it will back the VI, provided we are able to deliver on the ground.
So we must ensure that the VI succeeds and that in particular the industry meets its targets for the end of March.
In 2006, the Government will make an assessment and if we have not proved we can make the VI work we face the prospect of more time-consuming red tape. n David Collier is regional director of the NFU