Benno Baksteen has forty years operational aviation experience and has spent his whole working life in what became known as a safety culture. He started his flight training in 1966 at the Government Flight Academy in Eelde and after his military service with the Royal Dutch Naval Air Force he joined KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in 1970 as First Officer on the DC-9. He got his first Captaincy in 1982 and in 2006 he retired as Captain on the Boeing 777 after being a B747 Captain from 1988 until 2003.
During his career he held several positions in the VNV, the Dutch Airline Pilot Association and from 1989 till 1997 he was its President. In 2005 he was one of four non-government members of a high-level government advisory committee on risk policy. In 2007 he was appointed Chair of DEGAS.
Other public activities: speaker at conferences and meetings, guest lecturer on safety, quality and learning organizations at Twente University (faculty Management and Governance) and media guest as aviation expert.