Budget airlines have recently cut routes from the airport
Durham Tees Valley Airport is cutting staff and operating hours because of the economic downturn.
Peel Group Holdings, which owns the airport near Darlington, said the moves were needed to "create financial stability" in tough economic times.
The company said up to 32 posts would go with the remaining 143 staff being trained to do additional jobs.
A review of airport operations will also see the development of a "premium terminal" for business passengers.
Director Kerry Quinn said the airport continued to have a viable future, but had to become "better and smarter."
She said: "Every aspect of air travel has been hit by the economic crisis and we have to look at how best we can respond to the greatly changed world in which we are now operating.
"Regrettably, creating financial stability in the current economic situation does mean reducing our overall staff numbers, together with the introduction of greater flexibility through multi-skilling.
"We do appreciate this will be a difficult period for our staff and we are fully committed to full consultation with them and their representative trade unions in order to ensure that the measures we feel we have to take are dealt with as fairly and sensitively as possible."
Talks with unions at the airport are ongoing.
Over the past three years a number of operators have axed or reduced flights out of the airport.
Ryanair are among those who have cut routes from Durham Tees and BMI Baby withdrew entirely.
But Ms Quinn said the airport had recently been bolstered by news of new services to Southampton, Jersey and Turkey.