It would see a dramatic fall in passenger levels to below the 5m mark the airport has strived for years to achieve to affirm its place as one of the UK’s top 10 international airports. It handled 5.3m passengers last year.
The decline is due to its main carriers, Easyjet and Ryanair, cutting back on routes and flight frequencies.
But there are also fears that Easyjet is concentrating more investment on nearby Manchester Airport at the expense of JLA.
Earlier this week the airline, the biggest carrier by passenger numbers at Liverpool, confirmed it would base a seventh jet at Manchester, creating 120 jobs, in a bid to increase business traveller traffic.
Chief executive Carolyn McCall also hinted that it would invest further resources at Manchester, saying: “We are very well known in Liverpool and could become much better known in Manchester.”
Easyjet carried 1.167m passengers at JLA in the six months to June, which is a fall of 43,000 compared with 2011.
But rival Ryanair showed the most dramatic reduction, carrying 847,000 which was 215,000 less.