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Civil Engineering in the papers today - Wednesday 1 October 2008

American International Group (AIG) has sold its 50 per cent stake in London City Airport to Global Infrastructure Partner, which already owns the other half of the airport, for an undisclosed amount, a spokesman said. . .

The two companies have jointly owned the airport since 2006 - The Times

Wind turbines on agricultural land do not have a negative impact on farmland birds, according to scientists. The study, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, recorded 3,000 birds from 33 species at two wind farms in the East Anglian fens - The Times

Two Cutty Sark guards falsified their log and failed to complete patrols on the night in May last year when the clipper caught fire in Greenwich, South London, police said. One spent most of his shift dozing and reading the bible - The Times

A revolutionary plan to produce green fuel from the jatropha plant has passed a major test by delivering its first shipments. D1 Oils, the British company behind the scheme, says it is well on the way to reaching its target of producing 1,000 tonnes of crude jatropha oil by December - The Guardian

Middle class parents should be prepared to spend more on their children's university education, according to the chancellor of Oxford University, Lord Patten, who yesterday urged the government to remove the "intolerably low" £3,140 cap on student fees. The removal of the cap would pave the way for mortgage-style graduate debts of £50,000 or more for some courses at top universities, in a move which Patten acknowledged would be deeply controversial with families and politically difficult for any government - The Guardian

Bus and train operator First Group says trading remains "positive" as customers choose public transport over their cars because of high fuel prices. The company, which operates the Great Western and Capital Connect rail franchises, reported like-for-like passenger revenue had increased by 9.8pc in its UK rail business and 7.5pc in the bus division, adding that half-year profits would be in line with management expectations - The Daily Telegraph

Merseyside's maritime revival could be sunk by swingeing business rate rises, port companies said yesterday as they braced themselves for bills expected to be triple last year's levels. The government's revamp of the rates system for ports could put dozens of businesses into insolvency, threatening 3,000 direct jobs and thousands more in hired labour, said the Mersey Dock rating group, a campaign group of 70 companies fighting to reform the law - The Financial Times

Chicago Midway yesterday became the first major US airport to be privatised in a $2.5bn deal with a consortium including Canada's Vancouver airport. The price was equivalent to more than 28 times earnings before interest, tax depreciationand amortisation (ebitda), making it one of the most valued global airports behind the record dale of Budapest airport to BAA of the UK in 2005 - The Financial Times

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