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The “ARK”- JFK Airport New Luxury Animal Terminal

The “ARK”- JFK Airport New Luxury Animal Terminal


It’s no secret that air travel can be stressful, especially for animals. The time we spend in line at check-in, going through security, and potential flight delays are enough to make even the most seasoned traveler a bit cranky.

In what’s being considered the first of its kind, a new luxury terminal is scheduled to open next summer at the John F. Kennedy International Airport  (JFK) – one devoted entirely to animals. The creation of 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. Included will be a veterinary center and overnight pet resort.

Appropriately named “The Ark”, the $48 million, 178,000 square-foot state of the art complex will serve to handle animals and their cargo. There will be an arrival and departure lounge, an overnight domestic pet resort run by Paradise 4 Paws, and an East End Veterinary Emergency Center. There will be quarantine and transport services for animals big and small – from snakes to horses.

The design allows planes to taxi directly to the building, so horses can be transported in a seamless fashion that reduces stress.

The animals’ well-being will be a top priority for staff. The livestock handling system is being designed by animal welfare advocate Temple Grandin. Climate-controlled vehicles will be used to keep animals as comfortable as possible.

A rendering of the new equine facilities at JFK's new 'Ark' terminal. (Photo: The Ark)
A rendering of the new equine facilities at JFK’s new ‘Ark’ terminal. (Photo: The Ark) 
A rendering of the livestock handling system, which was designed by Temple Grandin. (Photo: The Ark)
A rendering of the livestock handling system, which was designed by Temple Grandin. (Photo: The Ark)

What’s Paradise 4 Paws? This unique company will bring a 20,000-square foot, 24-hour pet resort to The Ark complete with overnight accommodations for dogs and cats, daycare, training, and grooming. In addition, veterinary services including general medicine, ER, critical care, surgery, and advanced diagnostics will be provided 24/7, 365 days a year.1.23.15-JFK-to-Open-Animal-Terminal3-590x275

Although The Ark is long overdue for animal travel, I’m happy that finally animals will be treated with the proper care while traveling (at least in New York). I’m hopeful that other airports will follow suit.

The Ark JFK Airport New Luxury Animal Terminal is expected to start operations in 2016.


About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Her travels allow her the opportunity to pursue her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.


  1. Suze the Luxury Columnist
    February 2, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    This new terminal for animals sounds amazing! What a brilliant idea

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    • Carmen
      February 5, 2015 at 2:07 am

      Hi Suze,

      It does sound fabulous. Hopefully, they pay as much attention to detail for the animals they are caring for as they did for the details of the building itself.

  2. Jolanta aka Casual Traveler
    February 4, 2015 at 2:24 am

    That place looks fascinating, especially the pool! I don’t think we’ll ever use it, since we leave our pet at home when we travel, but it’s nice to know about it. Thanks for sharing the info!

    • Carmen
      February 5, 2015 at 2:08 am

      Hi Jolanta,

      I’m excited that they are the first airport to come up with this. I hope to see others follow after they open.

  3. distant locals
    April 26, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    This is such an interesting (and well overdue) concept – great read!
    xx –

  4. Ricky Flynn
    November 26, 2019 at 1:38 am

    Really a helpful post

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