John F. Kennedy International Airport, located in New York, has recently completed a new equine air cargo facility. The new facility is estimated to be worth $48 million. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has entered into a contract with Ark Development, LLC, to manage the facility. The combined efforts of GH2 Gralla Equine Architects, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, construction manager Holt, and Grandin Livestock Handling Systems has created a state of the art, 178,000-square-foot holding facility. The facility is designed to reduce stress for both horses and owners.
Amenities for the equine air cargo facility include around the clock veterinarian care, quarantine services, day-lit stalls, import and export center, and kennel services. Horses waiting for transport will be given a private climate controlled stall, food, and water in the departure lounge. Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine will provide veterinary care. Veterinarians will be available for emergencies, surgical procedures, diagnostic testing, and general medicine. Vitals will be checked for each incoming horse. Animal behaviorists will also be on-hand to care for the horses.
The facility is located at Building 78 and encompasses 14 acres. Planes may taxi directly up to the facility to load and unload horses. Designers believe the ease of loading and unloading will place less stress on horses transported through the JFK Airport. The innovations represent a giant leap forward in the care of transporting equine.
Developers estimate that the Ark will expedite transport of 70,000 animals per year. JFK is considered the area’s busiest air cargo airports. The airport accommodates nonstop international and transcontinental flights, which also decreases stress for animals. The amount of cargo is expected to increase significantly throughout the airport due to the new facility. In addition to the equine services, the managing facility, Ark Development, LLC, has designated separate areas of the facility to care for birds, livestock and other pets.
*Photo courtesy of Rolling Crate by U.S. Dept of A. at Flickr’s Creative Commons.