NEW YORK -- An airport terminal with a swimming pool, suites equipped with flat-screen TVs, customized departure lounges and around-the-clock medical care sounds like a dream come true for airline passengers.
Sorry, human frequent fliers, this one is for animals.
Horses, birds, pets and livestock arriving at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport will sit in the lap of luxury when the airport's state-of-the-art animal terminal opens in 2016.
The $48 million, 178,000-square-foot facility, called the Ark at JFK, is billed by developer Racebrook Capital as 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."
Construction of the new terminal is under way on the former site of Cargo Building 78, which has been vacant at JFK for nearly a decade. Organizers have signed a 30-year lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
"The animal terminal will set new international airport standards for comprehensive veterinary, kenneling and quarantine services," Ark founder and Racebrook Chairman John J. Cuticelli Jr. said in a statement.
Among the new terminal's offerings:
• A large animal departure lounge offering stalls, food and water for horses
• Individual climate-controlled units for horses, equipped with bedding and natural light
• LifeCare veterinary hospital offering general and emergency care including surgery and advanced diagnostics
• A 24-hour Paradise 4 Paws pet resort featuring a bone-shaped dog pool, pet suites with a flat-screen TV option and a jungle gym for cats
• Paradise 4 Paws grooming, obedience training and pet massage therapy
• A livestock export handling system