Service animals, and other pets traveling through Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA), will now be able to use indoor facilities in the terminal building. FWA recently completed a three-month long restroom remodel project which included the installation of a Service Animal Relief Area (SARA) inside the main terminal. With the growing number of emotional support and service dogs traveling on aircraft, airport officials identified that it was essential to have a place past the security checkpoint for pets to relieve themselves.
“The Service Animal Relief Area is a room we designed for passengers with service animals, or traveling pets. We are always looking for the next step to provide the best customer service and this helps set us apart from other airports,” said Joe Marana, Director of Operations and Facilities.
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority’s Pet Relief Area is handicap accessible and features a number of amenities including; a fire hydrant, moisture wicking and absorbing grass turf, plastic bags for solid waste, dedicated faucet with sprayer to wash down the artificial grass area after use, trash can, and a lavatory area for owner handwashing. While the Pet Relief area was designed with service animals in mind, all pets traveling through the airport are welcome to have access.
This new Pet Relief area also corresponds with one of FWA’s newest customer service initiatives, Hospitality PAWS. The Hospitality PAWS program began in October of 2016 in conjunction with PAWS, Inc., a local certified therapy dog group that is a part of the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. Hospitality PAWS aims to bring a calm and comforting travel experience to FWA passengers through teams of therapy dogs and their handlers.
The SARA project began in January of 2017 and was officially completed on March 21, 2017. The new Pet Relief area is located on the secure side of the terminal building at Gates 1-4. In addition to the new SARA, the community can expect to see several new upgrades and changes to the airport in the upcoming future.
Media is invited to come out to the airport on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 from 9:00am to 11:00am for interviews with airport personnel associated with the project, as well as photo and video opportunities with the FWA Hospitality PAWS teams and the new facility.