Airport owner Stobart Air is now deciding whether the delay to the project will make it unviable
"We were advised midweek that the application has been called in by the secretary of state [Communities and Local Government secretary Hazel Blears]," said Stobart Air airport director Richard Gordon.
"We are now reviewing our options. We have always said we are under huge time constraints. One option would be to simply not carry out the development."
The £35M proposals include the construction of a replacement runway, a new passenger terminal, a new air traffic control centre, hangars, warehousing and offices.
Carlisle City Council gave the go ahead to the plans in April (NCE 1 May).
This approval will now be probed by the inquiry which is provisionally set for 21 October.