BANGOR, Maine — A little over three months after being named Bangor International Airport’s interim director, Tony Caruso can now jettison the “interim” part of his professional title.

Caruso — who has 16 years of service, the last 10 as assistant director at BIA — was offered the BIA director’s job Monday afternoon and he quickly accepted.

“I have a passion for Bangor and the airport and what we stand for,” he said. “It’s something I’ve always aspired to. It’s a personal achievement I’ve looked at for a long time and following in the footsteps of previous directors Hupp, [Bob] Ziegelaar and [Peter] D’Errico is a legacy.

“I’m hoping I picked up something from each of them and I’m certainly humbled and excited to move forward with things at the airport.”

Rebecca Hupp resigned the director’s position after 10 years on the job to accept a similar position in Boise, Idaho, in January.

The BIA director’s job has a pay range of $76,946 to $103,360.

Bangor City Manager Cathy Conlow said the national search initially attracted 30 applicants and she ended up interviewing three finalists.

“We had a great candidate pool,” said Conlow. “Tony offers us the right mix of forward thinking and some history with the airport, but that’s not all. He has a good understanding what we do, what our future markets look like, and how we can strategically place ourselves to grow in the future.”

Caruso said he’s eager to continue to build on the airport’s recent momentum.

“There are some items I’m excited to get started working on with City Council and the city manager, but we have a well-defined strategic plan. I want to make sure we continue to move forward and keep it [BIA] financially viable,” said Caruso, who holds a Bachelor of Science in aviation science with a concentration in airport management from Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts.

Caruso’s professional background includes experience in airport management and airline operations. He has overseen fixed-base airport operations and ramp services, including fueling, aircraft maintenance, ground support maintenance, passenger services and customer services.

Caruso also is a licensed private pilot and is pursuing accreditation through the American Association of Airport Executives.