Indian becomes real life Viktor Navorsky: Lives in Airport

by Shoubhik Sen

We’re all aware of the Tom Hanks film “THE TERMINAL” & how his character Viktor Navorsky made a home inside an airport. This is what an Indian ended up doing. A resident of L.A, Aditya Singh managed to sneak his way into the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.


The coronavirus has indeed affected all of us in different ways, with the most visible impact being a fear of contacting said virus. 36-year-old Aditya Singh was clearly one of those persons as well. Reports say that he was scared to go home in fear of the pandemic and thus, decided to stay in the airport itself. Singh managed to make his way between a shoe store and a Cinnabon, and altogether create a temporary residence.

Indian L.A resident Aditya Singh who evaded Chicago Intl Airport security
This Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, booking photo provided by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office shows Aditya Singh of Orange, California, who told police that the coronavirus pandemic left him afraid to fly was arrested on charges that he hid in a secured area at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for three months. (Cook County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

The less crowd in the airport due to Covid travel restrictions was an added advantage. Perhaps this was why no one noticed a man crashing in the airport’s security zone. Singh lived here on the food given by other passengers. He even wore an airport staff badge to dodge any possible attempts of catching him. As he was able to evade security, he often interacted with the staff and lectured them about Hinduism and Buddhism as well.

Talking about the protagonist of this incident, authorities have found no criminal background of Aditya Singh. He possesses a Master’s Degree in Hospitality however, is currently unemployed. He lives with his friends in Orange County (Los Angeles, CA). Though not as long as Viktor Navorsky, but Aditya Singh managed to live in the O’Hare airport for a fairly long time; around 3 months (Oct 19, 2020 to Jan 16, 2021).


Nothing summarizes the entire ordeal as nicely, as the statement by the County Circuit Judge: –

you’re telling me that an unauthorized, non-employee individual was allegedly living within a secure part of the O’Hare airport terminal from Oct. 19, 2020, to Jan. 16, 2021, and was not detected? I want to understand you correctly.

Cook County Circuit Judge SUSANNA ORTIZ

Thus, his story may share similarities with The Terminal, there’s one major difference too. Singh was living in that public property as an un-invited guest. It was on an early Saturday afternoon that he was caught by 2 United Airlines employees, who asked him to produce identification. Turns out, the badge that he was using belonged to an Operations Manager, who reported it to be missing on October itself. Thus, the employees handed Singh over to the police and case went to the court.

Assistant Public Defender Courtney Smallwood defended his case by citing his non-criminal background. She further pleaded that Singh was only “scared to go home due to covid” and thus, his actions do not pose any security threat. Therefore, the court has charged Aditya Singh with: –

  1. Criminally Trespassing a restricted area of an airport
  2. Felony
  3. Theft
  4. Misdemeanor

The court even claimed this incident and these circumstances to be “shocking” enough to warrant such actions. Once again, the statements made by the judge are clear enough to sum up the entire incident: –

The court finds these facts and circumstances quite shocking for the alleged period of time that this occurred. Being in a secured part of the airport under a fake ID badge allegedly, based upon the need for airports to be absolutely secure so that people feel safe to travel, I do find those alleged actions do make him a danger to the community.


Aditya Singh therefore, is in police custody. Court has ordered that he needs to pay a bail amount of $1000 for his release. However, Singh is barred from ever entering the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. The CDA (Chicago Dept of Aviation) has also given a statement. Unlike the court order, this statement does not classify Singh as a threat, which in itself is interesting.

While this incident remains under investigation, we have been able to determine that this gentleman did not pose a security risk to the airport or to the traveling public. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners on a thorough investigation of this matter.

In conclusion, the matter is far from over. The CDA will subsequently carry out their investigation which could produce different results. Considering their coordinated and multilayered law enforcement network, it will be interesting to see what happens next. Last but not the least, we have to wait for any possible future court orders as well as see if the ban on Singh stays or not. One thing however should be remembered all………DO NOT LIVE IN AN AIRPORT UNLESS YOU’RE ASKED TO!!!!!