Air travel for pets used to be a miserable, even dangerous experience. More and more airlines have been changing their policies on how pets fly the friendly skies, and now, one airport is making the wait before boarding an incredible experience for all creatures!
The John F. Kennedy International Airport
in NYC, is set to open the world's first privately owned terminal dedicated solely to traveling animals.
[caption id="attachment_33527" align="alignnone" width="640"] Image via Gothamist
Aptly named "The Ark
," the terminal will serve as a cargo holding area for all animals (exotic, farm, zoo, domestic) while they await transportation to their destinations.
Set to open in early 2016, The Ark
is spread out over a 178,000 square feet and will house an overnight pet resort Paradise 4 Paws kennels, ample state-of-the-art cargo holding facilities, vets, an aviary and even climate-controlled stalls to ensure total relaxation prior to departure.
[caption id="attachment_33534" align="alignnone" width="640"] Image via Gothamist
Phil Derner of NYC Aviation
spoke to the Gothamist
about the $48 million endeavor:
"It is indeed unique. Some people seem to question its necessity, but if a private company wants to sign a multi-decade lease with PANYNJ, then by all means. This facility is in the cargo parking area of JFK, which sees tenants come and go, so this can be a good deal for a potentially economically unstable part of the airport.
When it comes to travel, animals have always had the short end of the stick, flying in dangerous and uncomfortable conditions in the bellies of aircraft. Regardless of animal type, I am all for anything that improves their treatment. As long as this being in the cargo area doesn't bring about a horse-related Goodfellas Lufthansa heist, it is just fine with me."
Derner is right. Traveling with pets has always been quite the challenge. As pawrents, all our flying time is spent worrying about the safety of our furry friends down in cargo. So this is a welcome change!
[caption id="attachment_33526" align="alignnone" width="640"] Image via Gothamist
Cliff Bollman, architect at one of the firms designing the terminal, spoke to The Telegraph
“For the animals who [will] pass through The Ark, as well as the people who own them, air travel can be stressful and confusing. 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."
Now that my pup knows about what's to come, he can't wait for his first air adventure. All paws aboard!
Feature image and h/t Daily Mail