Airport deputy director stepping down

Britnell

A longtime Charleston airport official is stepping down.

Al Britnell, 51, one of the Charleston County Aviation Authority’s two second-in-commands, said he will retire Feb. 27.

Britnell, deputy director of administration and public safety for about eight months, previously was the police chief at Charleston International Airport from 2007 to 2011 before being named public safety director. He started working for the Aviation Authority as a police officer in 1990.

Airports Director Paul Campbell promoted Britnell last May, after an extensive search that brought in more than 160 applications from across the nation.

Britnell said Wednesday he looks forward to spending time with his wife on a farm he owns near Aiken.

“There have been some options presented to me, and I want to take advantage of it,” he said. “I will thoroughly miss working here.”

Britnell’s decision to retire comes less than a month after he was named in a lawsuit filed against the airport district by former longtime airport spokeswoman Becky Beaman, who was fired in November. He said the lawsuit had no bearing on his decision to leave.

“I didn’t even consider that,” he said. “It’s a personal decision.”

Britnell will leave a position where he earned $144,000 a year.

His duties over the police department will fall temporarily to Capt. Doug Isley, who has been with the authority for 18 years, Britnell said. Campbell said the administrative responsibilities will be spread out until a replacement can be found.

“He has done an exemplary job at the airport police department,” Campbell said of Britnell.

In a separate management-level departure at the airport, Bob Brammer, who was operations director, retired late last week. Campbell said he hasn’t decided who will take over Brammer’s duties.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.