Mars Petcare has launched a new Airport Certification through its Better Cities For Pets program, naming Nashville International Airport (BNA) as the first to attain the new pet-friendly designation. The certification, in time for the holiday travel rush, comes in response to a rising demand for pet-friendly travel options, as a recent survey shows 85 percent of pet owners are likely to travel within the next year, and 65 percent saying they would like to bring their pets along, company officials reported.
Following the company’s recently launched partnership with Hilton’s Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton brands, the new Airport Certification aims to accommodate the growing desire from pet owners to travel with their dogs and cats, and encourage other airports to make the travel experience more welcoming to both people and their pets.
“Our new Airport Certification is a natural extension of our Better Cities For Pets program into the travel space, an area where pet parents are looking for more welcoming and accommodating experiences for their pets,” said Ikdeep Singh, regional president at Mars Petcare North America. “It’s clear that pet parents want to travel with their cats and dogs and working with leaders like BNA help us ensure we're meeting their needs and delivering on our purpose: A Better World for Pets.”
As the first airport to obtain the new pet-friendly designation, Nashville International Airport has prioritized the safety and ease of traveling with pets and service animals, installing a variety of pet-friendly amenities before and after the security checkpoint, officials said. New features include:
- A dedicated Dog Park, located in the Plaza on the fifth floor of Terminal Garage 1 to provide much-needed outdoor green space to traveling pets and pet parents complete with a hydration station and waste stations
- Two curbside relief areas at the North and South terminals, each equipped with a hydration station and waste station
- An indoor relief area located in Concourse D post-security, also equipped with a hydration station and waste station
- Enhanced visual wayfinding signage throughout the airport to make locating pet-friendly amenities easier for travelers
- Celebration of pet ownership throughout the airport, with two custom pet-themed murals in the North and South terminals where travelers can stop and snap a photo with their pets to document their trip
With these new spaces installed, pet owners will have options before and after the security checkpoint ensuring a more comfortable airport experience for travelers and their pets and service animals.
To develop the new certification, Mars Petcare collaborated with the Civic Design Center, a leader in designing public spaces, and American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), leveraging their insights and aviation expertise. The organizations provided feedback and guidance on the certification assessment, including input on relevant amenity enhancements and solutions that would facilitate welcoming, safe and comfortable travel environments for pets, pet parents and all other travelers.
To apply for the new Airport Certification through the Better Cities For Pets program, airports must be located within 90 miles of a Better Cities For Pets certified city.
To spread the word about the new Airport Certification, Mars Petcare teamed up with Nashville-native and acclaimed singer-songwriter Cassadee Pope, who recently checked out the pet-friendly updates at the airport with her French bulldog, Cuppy.