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The boss of Heathrow yesterday signalled “even more ambitious plans” for the airport to be environmentally responsible.

The west London hub set out a series of action plans for how noise, emissions and traffic will be reduced.

Heathrow provided a reported £2 million in funding for five local schools to install ‘adobe domes’ – special outdoor constructions that protect pupils and teachers from noise outdoors. Seven more will be funded in 2016.

The overall aim is to make Heathrow the “most environmentally responsible” airport hub as it battles for approval for a third runway against rival Gatwick. A delayed decision by the government on airport expansion in the southeast is now expected in the summer.

Heathrow chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, said: “2015 saw us commit to a series of action plans that will make us a better neighbour, by reducing noise, emissions and traffic.

“Today we are providing an update on the very significant progress already being made, thanks to the commitment of the airport community. 

“But we know that we need to do more, and in the coming months will set out even more ambitious plans that will make an expanded Heathrow the most environmentally responsible hub airport in the world.”

The plans include installing more than 135 additional chargers for at least another 260 electric vehicles.

Other measures include greater alternation between runways at night to give residents more respite from noise and penalties for airlines using older, noisier aircraft.

Environmental landing charges for airlines will double from January 2017 in another incentive to use cleaner aircraft.

Heathrow pledged to spend £16.2 million this year to upgrade and extend coverage of pre-conditioned air units and electric power provision at gates to reduce aircraft emissions on parking stands.

A new app providing real-time public transport and traffic information for passengers travelling on from Heathrow is also to be introduced.

Another app for the airport’s 76,000 staff will help to boost car sharing and more employees will be encouraged to cycle to work, while more ticket offers for travellers using Heathrow Express are expected in 2016.