Philadelphia International Airport in Pennsylvania has opened seven new relief areas for trained service dogs and emotional support animals in post-security areas throughout its terminals.
The facilities have been erected to comply with the latest US Department of Transportation regulations that state that animal relief areas must be provided inside air terminals that serve more than 10,000 departing passengers each year. Previously, travelers had to exit the terminal to access the outdoor relief areas, which meant being rescreened by TSA officials. The airport will look to construct permanent facilities as the terminals are refurbished over the coming years.
Kieran Sheridan, CEO of Philadelphia International Airport, said, “These relief areas will make traveling more convenient and less stressful for passengers with disabilities. In addition to service dogs, the relief areas can be used by other animals who are traveling in the aircraft cabin with their owner.”
Service dogs are trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities, such as guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, or calming a person with post-traumatic stress disorder during an anxiety attack.
Each interim animal relief area measures 8 x 7ft, contains artificial K-9 grass and a red faux fire hydrant. The area is bordered on three sides by a 3ft-high wall and contains a waste station with doggie bags.