The months-long search for a new deputy director of Charleston County Aviation Authority is over.

On Friday, the agency named Al Britnell to the position. He is currently director of public safety. He will serve as deputy director of airports for administration and public safety, according to Airports Director Paul Campbell.

Britnell starts Monday. He will earn about $143,000, a 17.2 percent increase over his current salary, Campbell said.

Britnell, 50, replaces Bill New, who retired in April.

"We had several outstanding candidates to choose from. It was a tough decision," Campbell said. "Al's experience with the Aviation Authority over the last 24 years gives him a valuable understanding of airport operations. That combined with his expertise in public safety is a plus for us during an exciting period of change and growth at the airport."

Britnell joined the Aviation Authority in 1990 as a patrol officer. He rose through the ranks, being promoted to police chief in 2007, then to director of public safety in 2011.

A graduate of Charleston Southern University, Britnell previously worked as a detective and patrol officer for Goose Creek Police Department. Prior to that, he served in the U.S. Army as a light infantry sergeant with the 82nd Airborne Division.

"I'm honored and excited for the opportunity to work with the board, Director Campbell and the entire Aviation Authority team as we work to complete the airport's renovation and begin to look forward to the next five to 10 years," Britnell said.

Britnell is one of two deputy directors. The other is John Connell, who oversees engineering and planning. Britnell will manage and direct finance, properties and contracts.

More than 170 applications were received for the position.