New York: The world's first-ever terminal for animals is set to open at the John F Kennedy Airport here in 2016 and it will transport 70,000 animals a year once the USD 48 million facility becomes operational.
ARK Development, LLC, an affiliate of leading real estate company Racebrook Capital, has announced that it has signed a 30-year lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to develop, finance, construct, operate and manage the terminal at the John F Kennedy (JFK) Airport.
The 178,000-square-foot state-of-the-art animal handling and intelligent air cargo facility, aptly called 'The Ark', will be built at a cost of USD 48 million, a statement from ARK Development said.
"The ARK will be the world's only privately-owned animal handling cargo terminal and USDA-approved, full service 24-hour airport quarantine facility for the import and export of horses, pets, birds, and livestock," it said.
The terminal will be constructed at the current site of Cargo Building 78 at JFK, with 14.4 acres of surrounding ground area, which includes direct airside access to the taxiway and large aircraft ramp parking.
It will be divided into three complementary sections: the air cargo wing, a central administrative and business centre with 24-hour veterinary hospital, and the main animal handling facility with pet boarding, animal import and export centre, and livestock export handling system.
"We developed The Ark concept to address the unmet needs for the import and export of companion, sporting and agricultural animals," said The ARK at JFK Founder and Racebrook Chairman John J Cuticelli, Jr.
"The animal terminal will set new international airport standards for comprehensive veterinary, kennelling and quarantine services," he said.
The project will create more than 180 jobs and generate revenues for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey estimated at USD 108 million over the span of the project's 30-year lease.
The Ark will open in early 2016, media reports said.
The terminal is projected to transport about 70,000 animals a year, the New York Post reported.
The Ark will include a departure lounge with comfortable places to sit, eat and drink, individual climate-controlled bedrooms for horses and cattle, a vet, an aviary and a 'Paradise 4 Paws' for cats and dogs.
JFK is one of the busiest airports in the world, with some 50 million people a year landing and taking off from its runways.