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PITCAIRN ISLAND (September 17, 1997 - PIDP/CPIS)---Consideration is being given to constructing an airstrip on remote Pitcairn Island.

"It's still in the talking stages," says Paul Lareau, in charge of Pitcairn's worldwide web site.

He says a three-way controversy has erupted, with some islanders not wanting air service at all, others seeking only a short emergency runway, and still others suggesting a facility big enough to accommodate tourists from Tahiti, the closest Pacific Islands region capital.

Some on Pitcairn recommend that the airstrip be built by French Foreign Legionnaires, formerly engaged in now-ended atomic testing at relatively nearby Moruroa and Fangataufa.

Pitcairn Islanders opposing the project, according to Lareau, are concerned that it will take up too much good agricultural land on an island which is generally quite hilly and steep.

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