PANYNJ To Add Air-Cargo Terminal for Animal Handling
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has unveiled plans to build what will be the world’s first and only privately owned air-cargo terminal dedicated to handling animals. Dubbed “The Ark,” the $48 million facility will operate at JFK International Airport as a full-service, 24-hour quarantine facility for the import and export of horses, pets, birds and livestock.
The Ark will be built under the terms of a 30-year lease between the port authority and ARK Development, LLC, an affiliate of real estate company Racebrook Capital, which will develop, finance, construct, operate and manage the terminal.
Working on the project are architect firm Gensler, equine-specialty architect GH2 Gralla Equine Architects, Holt Construction and Grandin Livestock Handling Systems, with input from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The planned 178,000-square-foot facility will be constructed at the current site of the vacant Cargo Building 78 at JFK, with 14.4 acres of surrounding ground area that includes direct airside access to the taxiway and large aircraft ramp parking. It will be divided into three sections—the air-cargo wing, a central administrative and business center with 24-hour veterinary hospital, and the main animal handling facility with pet boarding, animal import and export center, and livestock export handling system.
The terminal “represents an enormous leap forward in the care and comfort of horses and cattle that travel through the airport,” says architect and co-terminal designer Lachlan Oldaker of GH2 Gralla Equine Architects. “The design allows planes to taxi directly to the building, so horses can be transported in a seamless fashion that reduces stress.” Unique features will include a large animal “departure lounge,” where horses being prepped for export will have access to comfortable stalls, food and water. There is also an arrival area where horses’ vitals are taken before they are placed in individually climate-controlled units equipped with bedding and natural light.
The cattle handling facility is similarly designed for optimal ease, adds Oldaker. “This really is a worry-free, one-stop shop for passengers and animals, thanks to the various on-site offerings, including Paradise 4 Paws, an aviary and a veterinarian.”
The ARK at JFK will provide both airside and landside services to board, kennel, quarantine, import, export and transport large and small animals. Additional services will include transportation in dedicated climate controlled vehicles from aircraft, terminals, cargo facilities and other airport locations, while a specially designed livestock export handling system will allow for the safe and efficient handling of cattle, goats, pigs and sheep from truck to aircraft.
The $48-million investment for new terminal, says Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye,
“will transform an airport structure that has been vacant for nearly 10 years into a world-class specialty-cargo facility, and the agreement guarantees the Port Authority more than $100 million in revenue without any additional capital investment.”