In 2015, almost 70 years after the dawn of commercial air travel following World War II, airports are still the epitome of frustration and tediousness, second only to the state DMV. Long waiting lines, early mornings, and even later nights are what await passengers as soon as they check in. At least, that’s the case for human passengers. John F. Kennedy International Airport has recently announced its plan to built a $48 million pet terminal, called ‘The Ark at JFK,’ in an empty cargo building near its human terminal. It is set to open next year.

The terminal’s developer, Racebrook Capital, claims it will be the “world’s only privately owned animal terminal and USDA-approved, full-service, 24-hour, airport quarantine facility for import and export of horses, pets, birds and livestock.” The project, on a 30-year lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is to occupy the airport’s Cargo Building 78, which has not been used for about a decade.

Currently, the 70,000 animals currently handled every year at JFK are split among several locations, some even as far as two hours away, depending on their species. The Ark will primarily consolidate the airport’s animal control locations into one convenient location, and is a serious upgrade from the airport’s current VetPort, a 10,000 square foot space built in the 1950s.

The planned terminal will be 178,000 square feet, and will include spa and recreation services for cats and dogs, horse stalls, a cattle pen, and an on-site veterinarian. Some notable features will include the Paradise 4 Paws swimming pool for dogs and a tree-like environment called Cat Adventure Jungle for cats.
Starting in 2016, airport lodgings for animals at JFK will very decisively be better than that for humans.
Next, see vintage photos of John F. Kennedy International Airport when it was known as Idlewild Airport. Get in touch with the author @jinwoochong.