A new design intended to make the middle seat on aircraft a little more bearable has been approved by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Fast Company reports.
The S1 design features staggered seating rows in which the middle seat is set back from the aisle and window seats. Designed by, the S1 also lowers the middle seat relative to its neighbours, and increases width by three inches. The middle seat also has a two-level armrest for the exclusive use of the middle passenger.
The intent is to allow middle-seat passengers to have more leg, shoulder, and elbow room without having to make rows any wider.
One unnamed airline is reportedly planning to install the S1 seats on 50 aircraft now that the FAA has approved their use.
Initial designs for the S1 included a feature called Side-Slip, which allows the aisle seat to slide over the middle seat for easier access during passenger loading. Company officials said the feature will be offered as an option, not as standard equipment.