PETS PARADISE: The ARK at JFK redefines pet and animal travel
It’s not only the people passengers enjoying the airport experience these days. The recently opened JFK Animal Airport Terminal, The ARK is a 16,500-square-metre terminal housing quarantine facilities, a veterinary hospital, a diagnostic library, and a care centre offering training, spa and grooming services for cats and dogs. From the bone shaped wading pool to suites complete with sleek televisions, pets can now also enjoy a luxury ride too.
“We developed The ARK concept to address the unmet needs for the import and export of companion, sporting and agricultural animals,” says John J. Cuticelli, Jr. CEO, Racebrook and Founder and Chairman of ARK Development/The ARK at JFK. “Transporting live cargo by plane can be a complex and stressful process for owners and animals alike. Our goal is to create a more efficient and safe process by reducing the need for additional travel and offering trained animal care staff immediately pre- and post-flight. The ARK provides a healthy and comfortable environment and sets new international airport standards for comprehensive veterinary, kenneling and quarantine services.”
The ARK was a $65million project and is the world’s first privately owned, 24/7 animal terminal and airport quarantine. Gensler were the architecture and design firm behind the design - they specialise in aviation and transportation with a portfolio that includes numerous world-class projects, such as Terminal 4 and JetBlue at JFK Airport. Holt Construction was the general contractor. But we love the addition of Paradise 4 Paws, an award-winning pet resort catering for pets needing a staycation while their parents travel, including 24-hour access, all-suite overnight accommodations for dogs and cats (no cages!), doggie daycare, dog obedience training, spa and grooming services. There’s also the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital who offer general medicine, emergency and critical care, surgery, advanced diagnostics and traveler services. One stop shop right there!
The ARK at JFK features large animal handling systems and “departure lounges,” where horses and livestock rest and enjoy food, water and care while their travel documents are being processed. Under USDA supervision, The ARK’s staff observe the animals and guide them into climate-controlled stalls equipped with bedding and natural light. Designed to allow planes to taxi directly to The ARK’s “airside” loading docks, the terminal establishes the gold standard in animal handling, transportation and veterinary care, and provides ancillary travel resources for pets, horses, birds, livestock and exotic animals in a way that’s more efficient, safe and significantly reduces stress on animals.