The world’s first comprehensive animal handling and intelligent air cargo facility is set to open at New York’s JFK International Airport in 2016.

Named The ARK, it promises to “set new international airport standards for veterinary and quarantine services”.

The ARK at JFK will be a $48 million (£31,963,775), 178,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility with more than 14 acres of surrounding grounds. It will also host the world’s only privately-owned animal handling cargo terminal, complete with full 24-hour service for the import and export of animals, including horses.

Senior associate of the architects behind the project, Cliff Bollmann said: “Aligning the needs of quarantine with kennelling and elevating the experience for animals and their owners, our design team sought to create a comfortable, healthy environment for them all.”

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The ARK will be divided into three sections: the air cargo wing, a central administrative and business centre with 24-hour veterinary hospital and the main animal handling facility.

Within the centre there is a large animal departure lounge, where horses for export have access to comfortable stables, food and water.

For arrivals there is an area where horses’ vitals will be taken before they are placed in individually equipped, climate controlled units complete with bedding and natural light.

Additional services will include transportation in dedicated climate controlled vehicles from aircraft, terminals, cargo facilities and other airport locations.

Several industry experts in architecture and agriculture have come on board to assist with the design and construction of The Ark.

“The ARK at JFK represents an enormous leap forward in the care and comfort of horses that travel through the airport,” said Lachlan Oldaker, senior equine architect at the project. “The design allows planes to taxi directly to the building so horses can be transported in a seamless fashion that reduces stress.”

“We are excited to embark upon such a game-changing development, which will revolutionise the care of animals in an aviation environment,” added Dr. Aaron S. Perl, founder and managing director of The ARK at JFK. “We are proud to have brought together one of the most prestigious project development teams in the field to bring this vision to life.”

For more information visit: www.arkjfk.com

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Images courtesy of © ARK Development, LLC, 2011-2013.