JFK Airport Opens New Animal Handling Facility

The first phase of a state-of-the-art animal handling facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) has opened, with full completion planned for this summer.

The new facility, dubbed ARK, will have a veterinary hospital, animal daycare services and more efficient ways to transport animals worldwide, including exotic species. The center also will include a three-day equine quarantine area, dog and cat kenneling and grooming services, an aviary, lawn space for exercising animals and a rehabilitation center for horses and other large animals. The$32 million facility is expected to handle roughly 70,000 domestic and wild animals annually.

“The Port Authority is proud to partner with ARK to make air travel at JFK more humane for animals and convenient for pet owners,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “ARK, our private sector partner, will invest $32 million that will result in a world-class animal handling facility and establish a preeminent equine medical and surgical practice.”

“The Port Authority is continually striving to find innovative ways to meet its customers’ needs and this animal handling facility accomplishes that goal for the aviation sector,” said Vice Chair Scott Rechler. “The project also will turn this unused building back into a profitable operation that will earn the agency more than $100 million over the next two decades.”

“While most of our airport passengers walk on two legs, this new center will serve the important travel needs of our four-legged and winged friends, while helping to create regional jobs and significant revenue for the Port Authority,’’ said agency Executive Director Pat Foye. “This is another example of agency staff seeking new ways to meet niche markets and maintaining a leadership role in the aviation industry.”

“By working together, the Port Authority and ARK will bring state-of-the-art animal health services to JFK with private investment,” said agency Deputy Executor Bill Baroni. “Our passengers – and their animals – all benefit from this unique proposal.”

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