Your pet cat or dog has always had the short end of the stick when it comes to air travel, often traveling in uncomfortable and even dangerous spots deep in the bellies of aircrafts. And traveling with a horse (yes, people do) is a whole other story. But fear not, flyers, New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport has your back.
The airport will soon boast a 178,000 square foot facility called the Ark, the world’s first animal terminal. The $48 million facility is dedicated to traveling animals of all sizes, from horses, livestock, exotic and zoo animals, pets, and any other creatures that pass through its gates. The facility allows owners to board, quarantine, and import or export them.
The terminal, expected to open next summer, is co-designed by architecture firm Gensler. The firm has a bunch of notable terminal designs to its name at San Francisco International Airport and Incheon International Airport, among others. None are quite like this one, however.
The Ark features an animal departure lounge with stalls for horses and food and water, an arrival area that includes individual climate controlled units with bedding and natural light, and 4.4 acres of surrounding ground area, and direct airside access to the taxiway. Highlights: overnight pet resort Paradise 4 Paws, an aviary for birds, and a 24-hour veterinary hospital—definitely a leg up from airports that just feature dog parks.
The terminal not only sounds like a pretty sweet place for animals to hang out, it is also expected to create more than 180 jobs and generate roughly $108 million in revenues over the life of its 30-year lease.