This answer to the question Could the Space Shuttle have landed on any long runway other than those specially reinforced at Kennedy (TTS), and Edwards (EDW)? says:
The Mataveri Airport on Easter Island was a planned abort site for the Space Shuttle. Since the Space Shuttle has no means of propulsion, you might want to have a fairly tight mesh of potential landing sites in event of an emergency.
As a nice side-effect, the long runway allowed for larger passenger aircraft to service the island, which boosted tourism. A nice win-win situation.
What caught my eye is the comment:
The runway improvement happened only after the problem of an unprepared emergency landing there occurred... in a novel. But then none of the Vandenberg launches for which it would have been a launch abort site ever ultimately happened.
followed by this comment:
He's probably talking about Shuttle Down by Lee Correy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuttle_Down
Question: Is this timing factually correct? If so, was this coincidental, or is there in fact some causal aspect to the relationship?