Kennedy International Airport is gearing up for a new luxury terminal that will see a total of $48 million devoted to revamping a once thriving, but now defunct cargo terminal. The only catch? The new terminal will be dedicated entirely to horses, dogs, cats, cows, chickens, goats, sheep and literally every other animal that flies into New York City. This really isn’t for humans, it seems.
NBC New York reports that the 178,000-square-foot facility will be called the ARK (for exactly the reason you’d think) and will largely serve as a quarantine and holding facility for travel-weary felines and jet-setting ponies. According to NBC, the ARK’s amenities resemble more of a resort in some far off tropical wonderland than a regular holding station for animals.
If you’re an incoming horse, you can expect to relax in hay-lined stables. If you’re a pig or a goat, there’s stalls for you to commingle with your farmyard friends. If you’re a bird who’s sick of squawking inside a cage during a long flight, there will even be an aviary for you to freely flap your wings.
Dogs might just have the most luxurious airport stay awaiting them though. NBC reports that the “ARK will offer a 20,000-square-foot luxury ‘resort’ run by the company Paradise 4 Paws, complete with bone-shaped splashing pools, massage therapy and ‘pawdicures with colored nail pawlish.’ Dogs can watch flat-screen TVs and their owners can check in on them via webcam.”
All of this, when taken out of context seems a little outlandish, but given that JFK processes the lion’s share of animals entering the United States, it’s obvious that airport officials are seeking a more humane environment for animals in transit.
Many of these animals, especially horses, require a quarantine period where they are examined for contagious diseases. Sometimes, horses can be held for up to three days at the airport. But even if you decide to leave your champion clydesdale at home, and instead bring your dog or parakeet, they’ll still get a chance to frolic about the Ark’s luxurious floors. NBC reports that all animals, whether in need of quarantine or not, “will be held at the facility until departure or pickup by its owner.”
The Ark, which is set to open next year, is undoubtedly making JFK a more pleasant place for animals. At least some sentient beings will get to enjoy the airport, right?
Follow Sam Blum on Twitter @Blumnessmonster