The HUCAN project addresses legal and regulatory challenges of an ATM environment with higher levels of automation. Coherently with the SRIA, that advocates the need for new methodologies for validation and certification of advanced automation that ensure transparency, legal aspects, robustness and stability under all conditions and take full consideration for a future ATM environment built on multiple AI-algorithms system of systems with a human-centric approach, the HUCAN project proposes a novel approach for certification and approval of new ATM-related airborne and ground systems embedding higher levels of automation, including those based on AI and ML. The proposed approach is intended to support both the approval/certification and the design phases of such technologies, developing to this end two interconnected products: (1) a new holistic and unified certification method for highly automated systems, whose main target users are EASA, national aviation authorities, qualified entities, and ANSPs, and (2) a set of suitable design guidelines and associated toolkit for streamlining the development of automation and AI-powered technologies, targeted to manufacturers. For the design and development of such products the project will review the most prominent trends and challenges in automation and AI research and applications regarding ATM systems, also analysing possible approaches developed in other socio-technical and safety critical domains, and taking into account all possible impacts of higher levels of automation, including those on ATCOs licence and training. A parallel analysis of certification approaches, legal and regulatory features and critical issues of such technologies will be carried out. Case studies specifically focused on capacity on demand and dynamic airspace will feed and validate the theoretical research and the design of both the approval/certification approach and the guidelines for the design produced by the project.