Last November, a Birmingham academic and former business development boss at Manchester Airport advised Birmingham International Airport to buy a small airport 11 miles away - and then flatten it.
This, John Kirk told The Birmingham Post, would be a good way of ensuring BIA's expansion was not compromised by the proposed expansion at Coventry Airport.
But, with the news that the Baginton operation is to become the first British airport to have American owners, the problems for BIA appear to be mounting.
The Birmingham Post has learned of a report by Birmingham's managing director Richard Heard which was presented to the company board last autumn.
Coventry had been offered to BIA for £30 million but Birmingham was only prepared to do business for a smaller fee.
The report also revealed BIA's financiers - principally major shareholders Macquarie Airport Group and AerRianta - would be unwilling to fund the £1.5 billion expansion plans if Coventry Airport was flying two million passengers a year just down the A45.
For that reason, if BIA had purchased Coventry it would have done so to curtail the airport's growth.
Mr Heard has frequently expressed his concern over the airspace conflicts the two airports will cause each other and how limited take-off windows will prevent airlines seeking to fly to the Asian subcontinent, the Far East and the USA from choosing BIA over Manchester or a London hub.
Yesterday, he said: "As reflected in the Future of Air Transport White Paper and regional policies, BIA is ideally located to serve all the Midlands' transport needs.
"We are currently consulting on our draft Master Plan that shows how we can continue to develop in a sustainable way, creating 27,500 jobs and contributing nearly £1 billion per annum to the
regional economy by 2030. Due to the unique proximity of Coventry Airport to BIA, and the conflicting alignments of the runways, there are serious concerns that unnecessary development of passenger services at Coventry would undermine BIA's ability to fulfil the role set out in the White Paper.
"We remain confident that these concerns will be addressed through the planning process."
This is why BIA will go toeto-toe with Coventry at another public inquiry next week.
Against this background, the former owner of Coventry - German leisure giant TUI - is now making noises about its future commitment to fly its Thomsonfly airline from BIA.
The final major piece in this puzzle is a political one.
In the past two years, Warwick District Council's planning committee has fought hard to stop Coventry Airport expanding. Eventually it had to acquiesce under severe financial pressure following an unsuccessful High Court battle and a public inquiry.
The prospect of the second public inquiry has seen it withdraw as an objector, accepting a package of compensation for residents from Coventry and a promise to cap the business at two million
passengers per year. The seven West Midlands local authorities own 49 per cent of BIA and have a major stake in the economic benefits that its expansion will bring to the region.
But one of those authorities - Coventry - also owns the lease to Coventry Airport and benefits financially from the
growth of the business. Its position is complicated but it does support Coventry's expansion more wholeheartedly than the other six West Midlands councils.
Council leader Ken Taylor welcomed the news that the 142-year lease had been sold.
"The new owners have made it clear that they see Coventry
as their gateway into Europe, and there are potentially huge benefits for us all in terms of economic growth.
"While we've always been committed to a strong future for Coventry Airport, we've also been very aware of people's concerns about the environment, noise and traffic issues around the airport.
"We've worked closely with the previous owners and will do the same with the new owners to ensure that these continue to be addressed in a responsible manner."
Many of the people opposed to Coventry's expansion on noise and pollution grounds live in the Warwick District Council area and remain dubious about how responsible the new owners will be.
Archy Muir, from Stoneleigh of the Campaign Against Expansion at Coventry Airport, said: "It is inevitable they will seek to increase freight on top of passenger operations but that will not happen without bigger, even noisier planes."