New cameras at Mnachester Airport will automatically record 500,000 vehicle number plates in a bid to bolster security.
The new automated surveillance is intended help security forces to decide which vehicles should be prioritised to investigate.
Supt Peter Turner told the BBC: "It will record every vehicle which enters or leaves the airport and allows us to track people we would like to intercept."
He added that suspect vehicles were in the minority, but the extra measures should reassure people using one of the UK's busiest airports that security forces were doing everything in their power to create a safe environment.
Although the new cameras are primarily an anti-terror measure, they will also be used to catch drivers who have been involved in more general criminal activities and those who lack insurance.
Scanned number plates will be checked on police databases for relevant information that may be useful for the authorities.