Thanks to a decision made by the United States Department of Transportation, airports serving over 10,000 passengers each year must offer at least one pet relief area in the post-security portion of each terminal.
According to NBCNews.com, the legislation means there will be over 800 post-security animal relief areas across the United States, which will cost the Department of Transportation an estimated $88 million over the next 20 years.
Many airports have already installed the pet areas designed for passengers flying with service animals, including San Diego International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, Seattle–Tacoma International Airport and Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport.
Both Denver International Airport and Lambert–St. Louis International Airport added Service Animal Relief Areas in October, and Los Angeles International Airport added seven indoor pet relief stations in August.
“This is another step in improving the travel experience for all of our passengers, especially those who rely on service animals to travel,” St. Louis airport director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “Now those passengers with long layovers or connecting flights can more easily accommodate their animals with these new facilities without the hassle of going back through a security checkpoint.”
The pet relief areas aren’t just for service animals, as they also cater to therapy-dog teams, K-9 security teams and emotional support animals.
“We know that many of our passengers travel with their service animals or their beloved pets,” Denver International Airport CEO Kim Day said in a statement. “Opening these relief rooms on the concourses will provide those furry companions with a comfortable and welcoming area to take care of business before or after a flight.”