A new luxury terminal for at JFK airport will open in 2016. Yet the 178,000 square foot facility won’t be for humans but rather it will be used exclusively by animal passengers. The new facility comes as the present facility, Vetport, built in the 1950s, is increasingly in disrepair. Aptly named ARK, after Noah’s Ark, the new terminal will provide state of the art holding and quarantine areas for all types of animals.
Horses in quarantine, which usually lasts three days, will rest in hay-lined, climate-controlled stalls featuring showers and will have daily exercise. The facility will have the capacity to hold up to 70 horses and 180 cattle at any given time and there will also be an aviary for birds, holding pens for sheep, pigs and goats, and a special area for penguins to allow mating privacy.
Cats will have their own tree to climb and dogs will have access to a 20,000 square foot luxury resort facilitated by the company, Paradise 4 Paws, that includes flat-screen televisions, massage therapy, doggie pedicures and bone-shaped splashing pools. Owners will have the ability to watch their beloved pets via webcam.
Maybe most importantly, all animals will have access to veterinary care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, run by Cornell University’s veterinary school.
Presently, JFK airport receives the majority of animals entering the United States. As of now, horses must be driven to a quarantine facility in Newburgh, NY about 81 miles north of the airport. The new ARK facility will eliminate this drive and further will allow planes to taxi directly to the facility. This should reduce stress on the horses as well as injury.
ARK Development has signed a 32- year lease for the facility with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the completed facility will be subject to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s approval.
Fares for animals utilizing the facility have yet to be determined. It is likely that fancy dog suites could cost greater than $100 per night. Presently, it costs approximately $1,000 to transport a dog from the United States to London. It can cost over $10,000 to transport a horse.
Despite the cost, millions of pet owners will utilize the amenities that the ARK facility will offer. The pet industry is booming and more often than not, pet owners do not hesitate to spend large amounts of money in order to pamper their beloved companions.