The world’s first privately owned, 24-hour animal terminal has opened at JFK Airport. The first phase of The Ark features a pet oasis, an equine and livestock export center, and aviary in-transit quarantine.

The 178,000-square-foot facility is located at Cargo Building 78, and the $65-million facility was approved by the Board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). The ARK provides services in the air as well as on land, and will eventually also feature in-transit companions, animal kenneling, boarding, and veterinary and diagnostic services. From their announcement earlier today:

As part of the Phase 1 opening, The ARK Pet Oasis is a central resource available to all airlines, pet shippers and pet parents, servicing the needs and promoting the welfare of companion animals traveling as live cargo. The ARK at JFK Equine and Livestock Export Center provides essential resting stalls in a spacious, modern environment for horses and livestock departing JFK. The In-Transit Aviary Quarantine provides isolation rooms in a bonded warehouse, enabling commercial shippers to schedule several hours to overnight rest stops for birds traveling through the U.S.

The opening of Phase 2 is expected to take place later in 2017, and will feature Equine Quarantine/Import, Grooms’ Lounge and The ARK Aviary. Phase 3 (also opening later this year) will include a full veterinary clinic, a veterinary blood laboratory, and pet boarding and grooming facility.

When the facility was announced in 2015, Phil Derner of NYC Aviation told us, "It is indeed unique. Some people seem to question its necessity, but if a private company wants to sign a multi-decade lease with PANYNJ, then by all means. This facility is in the cargo area of JFK, which sees tenants come and go, so this can be a good deal for a potentially economically unstable part of the airport."

Click through the photos and renderings for a preview.