Flying and luxury aren't often used in the same sentence anymore, especially if you are an animal. Animals on flights and where they are stowed have been a bone of contention for years.
But things are about to change. The world's first animal-only terminal will open early next year at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. It will include a 24/7 vet hospital as well as a dog and cat luxury resort.
There will be even something they're calling a “large animal departure lounge”— complete with stalls, food, and water. It will also include individual climate-controlled bedrooms for horses and cattle. Try and get a climate controlled anything on a flight if you’re a human. They throw you a blanket that’s big enough to fit in your wallet.
Ark Development, LLC, has signed a 30-year lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the airport. It is set to open in the first quarter of 2016, creating about 180 jobs.
This isn't just your beagle’s airport any longer. It will "a multi-purpose animal handling and air cargo facility." It's being being billed as the first USDA-approved, full-service, 24-hour, privately owned airport quarantine facility for import and export of horses, pets, birds, exotic/zoo animals and livestock.
John J. Cuticelli, Jr, the chairman of Racebrook Capital, Ark's parent company, said in a newspaper interview that the concept tackles “unmet needs” of travelling companions, sporting and agricultural animals.
"The terminal will set new international airport standards for comprehensive veterinary, kenneling and quarantine services,” he said.
It will take up around 178,000 square feet and will cost just shy of $50 million to construct. Construction will take place at the current site of Cargo Building 78, which has been vacant for more than 10 years.
Architect Cliff Bollmann, who is helping with the design said, "Aligning the needs of quarantine with kenneling and elevating the experience for animals and their owners, our design team sought to create a comfortable, healthy environment for them all."