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An American Airlines flight in 2018. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Federal Aviation Administration researchers are testing to see if smaller airplane seats can endanger passengers during an emergency evacuation, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: There are no federal regulations on airplane seat size, the Post notes, and this is the first time the FAA has analyzed the potential safety risks of smaller seats.

  • A record-setting 31.6 million people flew on U.S. airlines over the Thanksgiving holidays, CNN reports, citing Airlines For America.

Details: The FAA's Cabin Safety Research Team will test how quickly 60 volunteer passengers are able to evacuate a mock airplane cabin — modeled after an Airbus A320 or Boeing 737 — four different times over a 12 day period.

  • The volunteer pool does not include children or those with disabilities.

What's next: Researchers wants to release test results by next summer, FAA spokesman Rick Breitenfeldt told the Post.

Go deeper: FAA says it will inspect each Boeing 737 MAX before delivery

Go deeper

Biden's Day 1 challenges: Systemic racism

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Kirsty O'Connor (PA Images)/Getty Images

Advocates are pushing President-elect Biden to tackle systemic racism with a Day 1 agenda that includes ending the detention of migrant children and expanding DACA, announcing a Justice Department investigation of rogue police departments and returning some public lands to Indigenous tribes.

Why it matters: Biden has said the fight against systemic racism will be one of the top goals of his presidency — but the expectations may be so high that he won't be able to meet them.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Most Americans are still vulnerable to the coronavirus

Adapted from Bajema, et al., 2020, "Estimated SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence in the US as of September 2020"; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

As of September, the vast majority of Americans did not have coronavirus antibodies, according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Why it matters: As the coronavirus spreads rapidly throughout most of the country, most people remain vulnerable to it.

Trump set to appear at Pennsylvania GOP hearing on voter fraud claims

President Trumpat the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump is due to join his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Wednesday at a Republican-led state Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing to discuss alleged election irregularities.

Why it matters: This would be his first trip outside of the DMV since Election Day and comes shortly after GSA ascertained the results, formally signing off on a transition to President-elect Biden.